“There is nothing wrong with you.” -Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D, P.T.
Most classes I teach I end with a daily quote from the book ‘A Year of Living Your Yoga’, written by one of my teachers. Partly I do this because I love the book, partly because it helps me stay connected to a teacher who is not local and partly because I just think it gives simple but deep thoughts to our day. When I started thinking about this month’s article I was trying to find another quote I read to a class of all women a few months ago. It sparked a conversation after class about how we as women often find all the “bad things” about our bodies and we were wondering why we do this to ourselves. That conversation has stuck with me. As luck would have it, I can’t find that quote but found the above one that was equally fitting.
As I reach the perimenopausal stage of my life my body and mind have made some shifts. Mentally, I have freed myself from the thought that I have to change my hair color to look good. Four years ago I made the conscious decision to stop coloring my hair. In the place of my naturally dark hair that I bleached for years, is a silver grey that most people think are highlights. They are mother nature’s highlights. My hair color now reflects all my life experiences without changing who I really am. I’ve had several women comment that I am brave to do this. I find it amazingly freeing to just be me without any filtered lenses. This year I decided to let my hair grow just to see what it looks like long. I recently looked at some photos of myself and found it a bit shocking to see how light my hair is now. I reflected on how disgusted I was when I was younger with my beautifully dark hair. My older self is working on forgiveness of my younger self not knowing that there was nothing wrong with me or my dark hair.
As I get closer to 50, I have also had Physical changes. I’m not a size 6 anymore. In fact, if I am being truthful, you can add a 1 in front of that 6 for my current size. The same photo that highlighted how light my hair is also showed me how round I have become. I do yoga & pilates. I’m super strong & fairly flexible, but I am a round women who weighs over 200 lbs and is a size 16. I haven’t changed my eating habits. I don’t eat THAT bad most days. Some days-yes. I eat out more than I would like to, but I’m at the studio some days for 12 hours and it is just easier to eat out. The fact is my body has changed and I’m learning how to live in this new shell with compassion instead of frustration. It is something I work on daily.
Why am I sharing my story? I get inquiries daily from people who are fearful to come give Om Prana a try because they are worried about their bodies. Are they too big? Are they too small? Are they too inflexible? Will their busy mind be okay? I also see other women who come into my studio struggling to be find compassion for their bodies. Some are super thin-struggling. Some are round like me-struggling. Some are tall. Some are short. All have their life stories stored in their bodies.
What would happen if we all started telling ourselves that there is nothing wrong with us? What if that became our daily mantra for the month of August? I wonder if we would see ourselves with more compassion. Who would like to try this out with me? Men, your invited to join in this ‘nothing is wrong with you’ mantra experiment too! I plan to tell myself this each time I see judgement creeping in. If your reading this on our Facebook, comment and tell us how you will integrate this into your daily practice for August. Give us all some idea on how to integrate this into our lives.
Share your experience with me and others. Finally, know that when we say all are welcome and our practices are for everyBODY, we mean it. There is nothing wrong with any of us. Together we create support and kindness for ourselves & others.