I used to literally spend hours standing in front of a mirror holding my thighs from the back wishing they weren’t fat.
Even though other people appreciated my small, compact body all I knew was that if a pair of jeans fit my waist they didn’t fit my thighs and I hated it.
The list of things women and girls can get self-conscious of regarding their bodies is endless—muffin top, hairy arms, breast size (too big or too small), flabby butt, and The New York Times just reported that young girls are looking at their genitalia and seeking cosmetic surgery to modify their most intimate parts. It borders on body dysmorphia.
I can really empathize though. The Victoria’s Secret catalog was enough to make me insecure when I was growing up. I didn’t have endless online photos and videos to compares every part of my body to so my thighs took the sole focus. They were such a dead zone that I didn’t even have a feeling in them. I literally could not feel my hips when I started yoga—when I would try to tune in I got nothing back in terms of sensation. Until one day during a mediation retreat I started to feel something and that something was sadness—sadness wrapped around like a familiar blanket. Every time I looked at my body and wanted it to be taller, longer, leaner, more delicate, refined, or just generally look like everyone else, those thoughts actually took up residence on my body. They weighed me down. And until I felt them all no diet or exercise could set me free.
After I felt my body I looked in the mirror and realized that there is nothing wrong with my thighs. I look back and old pictures that I never shared and clothes I have because I thought my thighs looked too fat, and I can’t see it anymore. I just see a beautiful girl who needed to learn to love herself.
This week’s Yogi Assignment is love your body.
Step one: Admit your weakness and be vulnerable. What body part are you self-conscious of?
Step two: Feel your body. Close your eyes and meditate. Once the mind is calm, cover your body in awareness and just feel. Let the emotions come.
Step three: Speak love to your body. Write down at least one positive thing about your body every day this week.
Step four: Share your journey and let’s lift each other up!
Author: Kino MacGregor
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Author’s own