When I first started practicing yoga, Instagram did not exist. I wasn't distracted by the unrealistic and unattainable contortions that so many Instagram-yogis now provide. My yoga practice was inspired by fellow students in the room and through teachers who shared their life's experience.
Nowadays, the game has changed. I can't even open my Instagram feed without seeing some perfectly crafted photo. Think: stunning location, overpriced activewear, balancing in some way that 80% of people will never be able to achieve, with a resonating quote that you wish you'd have come up with. Living in Los Angeles adds that extra little bit of self-doubt and hyper-awareness of my physical body, often leaving me wondering if I'm good enough, strong enough, flexible enough...
Enough for WHO?
When I'm in my standard yoga outfit of spandex booty shorts and minimal coverage bra top, I might look confident, and sometimes I am, but deep in there somewhere, I'm also wondering if I look fat, or if others perceive me that way. I look from the top down and see loose skin, rolls, stretch marks and blemishes. But when I look in the mirror, head on, I see beautiful feminine curves, a voluptuousness that many women, in fact, desire. The view is certainly different from above. It's skewed - in that the truth is blurred.
Perception is only reality when you claim it to be true. So I've decided to embrace my body, wholly and completely. Rather than creating this false illusion of "fat", I've decided that I AM NOT my thoughts. However, there is a fine line, because thoughts do have a tremendous amount of power. It takes awareness and consistency to redirect my thought pattern into compassion and love for self, ALL of MYSELF. Finding my personal threshold is a constant. For me, the eternal balance is using all of the things I learn about self in moments of challenge and self exploration, and allowing those experiences to propel me to be a better version of ME in all that I do.
I will continue to scroll through my Instagram yogi feed, but with more clarity in knowing that my body is exemplary, exactly the way it is. Some days are more flexible, some days stronger, some days I eat the cake and others it's all greens and fruits. And guess what - that is perfectly acceptable.
Today I move forward with less weight.
In this case, I'm trimming the mental fat.