Forgetting The ‘Perfect Body’ And Finding Self Acceptance With Yoga
What role does yoga play on your body image and confidence? When stepping into a yoga class, you are taught to feel and honestly observe your sensations rather than react to your external environment. Your body and more importantly your mind are given the opportunity to stop for a moment. The practice of yoga places you in a different mental state so rather than objectifying the body, it becomes merely a vehicle that can quiet your mind and commence a deep journey into the self. If a person can be encouraged to take the first step onto the mat, the actual practice of yoga will eventually reveal the depth and integrity it has to offer for self acceptance and love.
Yoga teaches you to appreciate your body for how it feels rather than how it looks. In this respect, the discipline of regular practice teaches you how to sense, feel and trust your own body, to open your mind and acknowledge your soul. Accepting ourselves for who we are can be extremely challenging at times, however the practice of yoga is essentially all about personal growth and change.
Here are three ways yoga practice will help you find self acceptance and love:
1. Unlike many other exercise activities, in a yoga class, you are encouraged to remove your focus on physical exertion and experience what is going on in the body. More than that you choose to no longer be worried about how you might appear, often the root of poor self confidence. Yoga teaches us that high self esteem comes from compassion for oneself and others rather than a restless pursuit for a ‘perfect body’. That is not to say that physical health is not important to yoga practice, but rather that it teaches an appreciation and nourishment of oneself.
2. Many of us feel a need to be perfect. However, regular yoga practice can help you realise that you already are perfect the way you are. We all have parts of us that could be improved, but that is what’s so beautiful about being human. Through regular practice of stillness and calming the mind in yoga practice, this awareness and true presence within yourself allows you to let go. When you begin to let go of expectations and false images, you will begin to see how beautiful and perfect you already are.
3. Regular yoga practice opens your mind and heart. Not only through the physical practice of yoga poses, but also through the light and peace that you are able to feel as a result of your body becoming more open and flexible. It’s through connection with the breath and a willingness to focus on internal sensations rather than external fixations that can help you to understand the true meaning of peace. When your heart and mind begin to open, you can’t help but begin to see the multiple benefits yoga practice has on your self confidence.
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