Do you ever feel like it's impossible to accept your body as it is right now? Maybe you just can't wrap your head around how it can be so wonderful when you're struggling with X, Y, or Z issue. Well, I've been in that boat before, and believe me, it wasn't always smooth sailing. I thought I was damaged from stress and anxiety, and I was really unable to accept my body when I felt perpetually overwhelmed. In this post, though, I hope to share something that not only helped me better manage stress and anxiety but actually helped me foster a more loving relationship with my body as well. I'm excited to share with you exactly what holy yoga taught me about body acceptance!
let me set the scene
During summer of last year, I began going to a holy yoga class each week. I'd never taken a yoga class before, but I wanted to try something new that I heard could help with stress and anxiety. I was a wreck more often than I'd like to admit, and I knew I was ready to add some restorative movement into my regimen.
So, I downloaded a free app called MINDBODY, typed in my information, and it generated a list of nearby classes and schedules. All I had to do was book the studio, day, and time, and then I filled out all of the paperwork (re: a waiver) right from my phone. The fact that I stumbled upon a holy yoga class (I didn't even know it was a thing) was fantastic!
What is holy yoga?
I don't know about every holy yoga class, but I can share a little about the one I take. During my class, there's instrumental music played along with worship music. The instructor reads verses for us to meditate on and walks us through guided meditations to help us visually experience the verses in our mind—all while doing various yoga poses and flows.
Here's what holy yoga taught me about body acceptance:
When we slow down enough to take care of the bodies we've been given and show them the attention, love, and kindness they need, they actually do a beautiful job of taking care of us.
body acceptance doesn't happen all at once
Each of the things discussed above happened in their own time. Some I realized quickly into my experience, and some I have only recently come to grasp. This is just like body acceptance—we start by taking baby steps to respect our bodies. When I began taking this class I was taking a baby step to give my body the restful and restorative movement it was craving.
Somewhere down the line this shifted into a trust that I hadn't previously had with my body. I was able to trust it to do new and more difficult poses and flows, and it could trust me to stop when difficult became painful or harmful. Then, I came to a place of acceptance with my body where I embraced that it has limits but also continues to grow and surprise me with what it's learned or developed the ability to do (through practice!).
Please know that the path to body acceptance isn't linear. It's not cut-and-dried or as-easy-as-1-2-3. I've shared what holy yoga taught me about body acceptance, but this is a small piece of a singular aspect of my journey. There are so many areas of my life where I'm cultivating this respect→trust→acceptance, and sometimes I'm sailing on rough, uncharted waters. It's a practice, though, and I'm so grateful for it.
Thank you for letting me share, and I hope this post helps inspire and encourage you on your journey!
Looking for resources on body acceptance? Check out my resources page for some trusted and highly recommended options!
Hi there! I'm Sydney Cavero-Egúsquiza.
I'm a small-town Oklahoma eating disorder dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor with a passion for enjoying life. I love Disneyland, Milk Duds, and sharing time with family. My mission? To help individuals enjoy their lives and thrive by making peace with food and trusting their bodies!