Learn to Listen to Your Inner Wisdom
I have been advocating for Healthy Body Image and Self-Worth for the last 7 years. My passion for helping others move well, accept their bodies while doing so, stay present and find time to relax is constantly growing everyday.
On top of advocating for healthy body image, I started teaching yoga almost 10 years ago. Since my teaching career began, I have experienced many highs and lows, happiness and love, sacrifice and struggle, disappointment and failure (all of which I would not change).
To this day I still share how the practice of yoga in many ways changed my life but at the same time amplified the way I negatively perceived my body. About a decade into my journey things started to become questionable; expensive name brand active wear only meant for one body type, people constantly asking me after class that if they take my class will they have a body like mine, unsustainable and unrealistic social media posts portraying an image of the perfect “yogi” (usually being a white thin female).
The hardest part about having a passion at times can be the ability to stay motivated without having to compromise your core values and desires. I am here to share a couple tips on how to stay true to yourself when feeling unclear or doubtful while following your passions.
UNFOLLOW THE LEADER (unless its YOU)!
Through my yoga experience I have noticed that there can be a hierarchical system within a linage of yoga which can unfortunately lead to one not trusting in themselves in fear of no longer belonging (which can also apply in many other settings in life).
Connecting to a community is great but know that you are your own person and the leader of your own destiny. External guidance and mentoring is awesome but look for it without dependence and trust in your own ability to create and perform the way you yearn to.
Notice and become aware (without judgment) of how much of your time and energy is spent on praising others and NOT yourself. Praising others for their success is wonderful but make sure to give yourself the same attention and expect the same in return.
Surround yourself with like-minded people who fuel your mission. Just as you would with your best friend or spouse, make sure your relationships have a nice balance between give and take so you can feed off each other and not feel depleted or under appreciated. You know yourself more than anyone ever will.
YOU ARE WISER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE!
Open yourself up to your inner wisdom! Critically ask questions along the way and have NO fear! Change is inevitable. To grow, evolve and understand we must ask questions when we are uncertain or unclear. Start by asking yourself, “Does this line up with my core values and beliefs? “Remember the saying, “There is no such thing as a bad question.” Don’t let fear or disappointment prevent you from asking.
Look for the silver lining when you question things? It’s a GOOD thing to ask! Around the same time that I was questioning the yoga industry and how it was affecting my body image, I experienced a catastrophic rib injury that lasted almost 3 years and thought my career was over! My entire identity was based on yoga and I was certain for many years that yoga was EVERYTHING I needed. I became lost and depressed. As a full-time yoga teacher, I was horrified.
By asking questions I realized my life was like a puzzle and there were pieces missing that yoga could no longer give me. That was a hard pill to swallow at the time, but I was determined to find answers anyway (even when I didn’t always get one). I realized it was okay to feel this way and it did not make me less of a “yogi.” From that moment on I became my own leader and I started trusting in my capacity to ask questions and listen to my inner intuition.
“Feeling Old Wounds is the Souls Way of Finding Deeper Healing.” ~Danielle Leporte~
Fast forward to today I still love yoga but my how I define it has changed and I accept that it will always evolve and change. Because I asked questions, I discovered that yoga is a state of being and connection to whatever it is I am doing from any given moment; whether it be movement of any kind, spending time with my loved ones, practicing mindful meditation or simply going for a walk outdoors.
It is okay to think critically and question things even when people may not agree. I truly respect myself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves my growth, purpose or straight up makes me happy.
Lastly, I feel fearless when it comes to the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire. Find the freedom you deserve; be your own leader in times of disconnect, look for balanced and unattached guidance and never stop asking questions!