Yoga for All: Come As You Are and Do What You Can
Did you know that teaching people to love their bodies and themselves raises our consciousness? It makes us better as human beings. It makes us more loving, compassionate and interesting. It makes us more effective in this world. When we come together and believe we are worthy, life gets better for all of us. The message that has been taught to us, the idea that we are not good enough has been ingrained in us. It was a concept that was spread throughout the world. It came down like rain. We were all outside when the storm came. We all got wet…
We lose our soul in the quest for someone’s ideal of perfect. This idea was never ours. It is carefully crafted to make us all insecure. Whatever we choose individually, we as a culture have made ‘fixing our bodies’ our main obsession and we let it consume our life. This happens for most of us whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. We live to achieve happiness. It is our quest for perfection, the perfect life and we give it our all. We think it can be bought or sold. The truth is that it resides with in.
I found happiness when I found myself. I found myself on my yoga mat.
I am mother, a wife, a woman of colour and a yoga teacher. I have learned so much from all the roles I play in this world. Each role is influenced deeply by my yoga practice. Not the physical practice or the asana as we call it…..but the journey to know my truest and highest self. Knowing myself and being connected to my soul teaches me that I am perfect as I am. It makes me aware of my body. I know it is a hard thing to believe especially when the world makes it a point of telling you otherwise. Your body and your soul is the entity that ultimately connects us to the world. This is what my yoga practice has taught me.
My yoga practice has taught me many things.
When I set aside all the messages that our single-minded culture has tried to teach us, sit in stillness, and listen to my heart, I know that these limited perceptions, these destructive categories, and ideas like “we are not good enough just as we are,” are simply not true. Yoga taught me self-study.
My yoga teaches me that we are all divine beings just as we are. If we focus on what’s really important, like the gift of breath and the ability of our bodies to sustain and support us, we start seeing that our outward appearance simply isn’t an accurate portrayal of the totality of our existence.
Your body is a beautiful instrument. It is deserving of our love and acceptance as opposed to our hate and criticism. It is hard to not criticize ourselves constantly when we are bombarded with these messages. You are taught you are never ever enough. But what if you thought you were enough…what would your life look like. What if we could focus on what we have and be content with that? In yoga it is called santosha. What if we changed our language to the affirmative and positive as opposed to constantly dwelling in the negative?
How would life be different? What could we contribute to this world? What beautiful things could we discover if we shifted our focus? What if we could shift our awareness of who we are and ultimately shift the consciousness of the people around us?
Your body is the only way in which you can experience the world. It is the divine entity that houses your soul and helps illuminate your body and mind. It deserves your love and respect, rather than your criticism and hatred.
My role as a yoga teacher is to help shape consciousness. My role as an activist is to help shift consciousness. This is two sides of the same coin. What if you choose a conscious life, rather than a life of obsession and chasing a goal that may not even be your own to begin with? What if you choose, instead, to practice yoga as a pathway to enlightenment, and used your yoga practice as a tool to connect with your true and highest self?
Creating a yoga practice that is accessible to all to what I am about. No yogi left behind. We share this practice we change our world. Sharing this knowledge of how we heal the human spirit with our practice. You as the yoga teacher can help change someone’s life and ultimately make a huge impact on the world. One voice can make difference. Will it be yours?
If you would like to increase your skills in teaching to people of all body shapes, sizes and abilities then you should check out this upcoming training that I am doing with Amber Karnes titled “Yoga for All”