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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Illuminated




The main reason that I started writing this blog was to sort out my thoughts and emotions throughout my recovery process. The reasons that I continue are not only for those same reasons, but also because I have learned that it is important to myself and others, to be vulnerable. I am as honest as I can be here, because we all share some of the same hopes, fears, and basic human tendencies. When I realized I wasn't alone, the world was not nearly as frightening. I'm recovered from anorexia, but that certainly doesn't mean that I don't still struggle with my body image. I do. I'm in the public eye every day as a yoga teacher, and I'm not the hard bodied, lean yoga teacher. I'm the short, curvy yoga teacher, with extra bits here and there, and most days, that is okay. It never matters once I step my feet on my yoga mat because for fuck's sake, it doesn't matter! The days that it does matter, I need to take a few steps back, and ask myself why. It is never about my weight. It is usually about avoiding a feeling, or a myriad of feelings, which brings me to this...

My sweet friend Monica, www.illuminatespirit.com is someone I met at Darling Yoga. She is a massage therapist, yogi, and amazing photographer. She asked if she could take some yoga photographs of me, and I froze! I admire her work, the photographs she has taken of our friends are beautiful, but I wasn't sure about the idea for me personally. It is not that I think I'm ugly. I take a selfie here and there, but I'm the one in control. I can delete, and I never take body shots. That is sad, isn't it?! I avoid the mirror at all costs in the studio. When I'm moving through my practice, I feel beautiful. Flowing with the rhythm of my breath is like dancing with the most graceful partner who anticipates your every move. It is never wrong. It is yoga...union...

Monica is such a sweet, and gentle soul, but I was nervous. I barely remember the ride to our location, and still don't know where we went. It was a beautiful fall day, with a touch of crispness to the air. I was giddy and flighty, but as soon as I would settle into a posture and breathe, it was yoga; my home, where I am safe. We laughed together, and I do remember that the location had huge houses that looked like English mansions. It was more fun than I thought it would be, but then the fear of actually seeing the finished product was terrifying! I know only too well how critical I am of every perceived flaw. I am strong in my recovery, but I still remember...
I am fearful of anything shaking my foundation, and what if I was disgusted by my extra bits? What if it sent me into starvation mode? What if I disappointed Monica by not being happy with her photographs? Every time she would see me, she would reassure me. 
"You need to see what we all see when you practice. You are beautiful." 

Last weekend, she texted me to let me know she had sent me the link to her website to look at the photographs. A half hour later she texted me back, wondering, but I hadn't looked. I was scared! I went to the studio to practice, and she was there after class with her laptop. Beaming, she said, "This one is my favorite!" It also happened to be my favorite pose. Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana~Mermaid pose. I remember the light, the trees, and how the breeze felt on my skin. It was beautiful because I felt beautiful. Again, it had nothing to do with what I looked like, but how I felt. It was exactly like what I'm always telling my students. "Feel the pose from the inside out, because that is when you know." When you allow yourself to feel, you know everything! 

Thank you Monica, for the gift of knowing, and for making it comfortable, sweet, and painless. I love you. 

1 Comments:

Kelly Mason said...

They are beautiful photos and so are you!