Updated: Aug 9, 2019
I didn’t know if I was going to share this photo. But I feel it’s important. Important for the yoga community, important for the body positivity movement , for self love work and for wellness. Despite never having the ‘prefect’ body, I have always been happy in my own skin, not obsessed with diets and a big believer that you can’t tell what someone’s true health is just by looking at their weight (fat or thin).
Pre-spinal surgery and health complications I was a very fit and healthy girl. I slept well, very very rarely felt stressed, had a healthy relationship with food (I do like the odd chocolate binge though but I know a lot of ladies who have that too 😜) and a great social life. But I was never ‘thin’ - and that’s ok. It didn’t rule my life thankfully. When I became ill I lost a lot of weight. I thought I’d capitalise on this sudden weight loss and, for the 1st time, join a dieting group. As you can imagine, the weight continued to drop off me (but it was because I was going through trauma!). I was constantly told how ‘healthy’ I looked and how amazing I was looking following the 2 stone weight loss. I must admit. I liked it! However, looking back, I had never in my life been so poorly and in pain (both physically and emotionally). Yet, I was being told how amazingly healthy I looked just because I’d lost weight.
Despite the fact I live with a health condition, I am a very healthy woman. I don’t drink or smoke, very little caffeine, I very rarely drink fizzy drinks, I walk as much as my health allows me to and I take great care of my mental wellbeing. Yet I have piled on the pounds since coming back into balance after the physical trauma I went through. I must stress I am NOT perfect, but I am healthy. Yet, I am now overweight. And for the 1st time ever, I saw this lovely photo my hubby took of me whilst on retreat, and I cried. I cried because I couldn’t bear to look at my body. I cried because I’d come to the realisation that, I had let the opinions of others finally penetrate my own feelings towards myself. And this meant I had work to do. And that’s ok - I have and I will continue to. We are all allowed a wobble.
I have to say that since becoming a big part of the yoga community and now a teacher, my relationship with the love of my body has changed. When I’m teaching it doesn’t even cross my mind. But, I’ve seen the way some people look at my body when they find out I’m a yoga teacher. The looks ‘up and down’ my body and shock on the face when I say ‘I’m a yoga teacher’. And I’m afraid to say that it must has subconsciously registered and came out when I saw this photo.
I’m now in LOVE with this photo. I see a woman who has been through the mill physically and mentally, and against all odds, is living a peaceful and fulfilled life whilst facing adversity. A woman who was brave enough to follow the calling of her soul and the Universe and become a yoga teacher AND lead people to her first retreat in the Spanish mountains. A woman who is is brave, fierce, happy, loving and healthy. This is what health REALLY looks like for me. If you look at this photo and all you see is the weight on my body - you’re the one that has work to do now honey. So please, stop the fat shaming and judging people just on their body size. You have no idea what healthy is for someone. We are all unique. We are all beautiful. Get your ass on that beach and enjoy life. Get your ass in that yoga gear and go to a class with no fear. Get your ass in those shorts and own who you are. Skinny / thin / chunky / overweight / tall / short… happy is healthy. Loving yourself and others is healthy. You’re wonderful. You are worth so much more than the size of your body. Health is complicated and personal. Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle 💖
Yoga is for ALL. The beauty of the yoga scene now is that there are so many different types of classes. There really is one for everyone. Reach out to your local yoga teacher or studio and let them know what you're looking for in your yoga practice. They will be able to guide you to the right class type or teacher. to find out when my next yoga event or retreat is, sign up to my mailing list here.
I also teach at the Soul Shala in Stourbridge (www.thesoulshala.co.uk) - check out the timetable or message me if you need advice.