Reflections on One Year of Bikram Yoga

Please note that as of the end of summer 2014, I will be moving my blog to the following link (until that time all blog posts will be duplicated in both locations): http://confessionsofayogaprincess.wordpress.com

365 Days. 278 Classes. 25,020 Minutes. 417 Hours. Once I did 4 classes in one day. Once I did 57 classes in 29 days.

April 29th, 2013: at approximately 7:10a.m. I walked into Bikram Yoga Marina Del Rey for the first time. In the time I’d done yoga, I never imagined myself going to Bikram. Doing yoga in 105 degree rooms with high humidity—that’s crazy making; that’s insane; that would kill me.  Well that’s what I always thought, but earlier in April I had a conversation with someone important to me. I was not at a good point in my life. So much emotional chaos surrounded me, including, but not limited to, my father’s decline. I needed some help. I needed a way to clear my head.

My friend suggested I hang out more with my friend MK.  She had a good sense of a healthy lifestyle and body image, he said.  I wasted no time in texting MK and telling her she had a new job—hanging out more with me!  She readily accepted (probably didn’t realize exactly what she was getting into;-)). The first thing she suggested was Bikram Yoga. I still thought the idea of hot yoga was a bit nutty, but I felt desperate at the time. We set a date, but when I didn’t hear from  her for a few days, I thought maybe she’d forgotten.  As it turns out she hadn’t, and I heard from her the night before.

When I arrived that morning, 6:45a.m. for a 7:30a.m. class, MK wasn’t there yet, so I waited in the parking lot until 7:10. When she still hadn’t arrived, I went in alone. I never would have done this in the past, but somehow I felt driven. I also wanted to make sure I got a spot in the back of the room. I wanted to hide as much as possible. She finally did arrive at 7:17a.m. and thought I had backed out because she didn’t see me in the parking lot. Ha!  I fooled her and myself by taking that first step.

That first day I felt nervous for several reasons: first and foremost, based on previous experiences, I had an inkling I’d be judged for my size, by the instructor, by my fellow practitioners, but, strangely enough, the instructor—I don’t recall his name (just kidding!!!!)—Loren Jay Cherrstrom didn’t really give me a second glance. I thought that was pretty odd!  Why wasn’t I being judged? Surely he’d be surprised someone my size wanted to practice that hot yoga! But, nope.  No judgment. Not from him. Not from others on that day.

I don’t remember much about the actual class itself. I didn’t die. I know that! I think I managed to do most of the postures. Who knows what my poses looked like, but I had to start somewhere! I do clearly recall the yoga stoned feeling I experienced after that first class. I floated on such a high. I felt giddy with life.

It’s that very feeling that instilled in me the desire to go back by myself later that week. I started out going twice a week and quickly graduated to three times a week. Then one day in June I decided to try a double. I figured if I’m already at the studio why not stay? I not only survived, but I thrived doing a double, so I made them my new habit. Three days a week I do doubles. Nowadays, I only do singles when I have a friend in town and when I’m on the road.

So much of my life has changed this past year. I’ve learned so much about myself. I know I wouldn’t have survived the death of my father without my practice. I don’t mean to imply I would have died, but on days I would have just fallen apart in despair I found the strength to get to yoga. I made the effort to go to class the day after he died. If I hadn’t gone I would have wallowed in despair. I don’t mean that I denied my grief. I’ve never done that. I wanted to work through it. I still am working through it. My yoga helps me work through it.

I’ve become a much stronger person, which is saying something because I’ve never really been a weakling. I’ve become more confident. About a month and a half into my practice, I decided to move from my safety net in the back corner to the front of the room and that’s where you’ll find me most of the time. Front and Center. I’m pretty sure the front of the room is supposed to be for seasoned practitioners, but I almost always make the effort to do my best, so I figure that counts for something!

When I started doing Bikram, I dressed to hide my body. I soon realized the insane blasphemy of this sartorial attitude. It’s pretty hot in there!  So, really, the fewer items of clothing you wear the better! Sometime in July, I found the courage to start practicing in bike shorts and a sports bra. I started to really look at my body and not judge it. And I’d always judged it prior to that. Fat. Lumpy. Unattractive. Negative adjectives you’ve all likely heard before. I saw myself the way ignorant others had seen me.

Not too long after practicing in my new attire, I discovered a new appreciation for being able to see how my body, how my muscles, how my bones moved in the poses. I had a clearer discernment for adjusting alignment. My body has become more toned. I’m much stronger in my core than I ever used to be.

But it wasn’t just in the yoga room that I changed. The yoga room really serves as the catalyst for appreciating who I really am, finding out who I really am. I’m learning to have a deeper appreciation for Nancy. I’m learning to listen to my soul. I’m learning that when things and people and situations don’t feel right, my body won’t tolerate them because my soul wants to find a way to thrive.

And that’s what this blog, my new website, my Facebook page, and YouTube channel are really about—finding positive ways for my soul to thrive. I want to share my journey with others, so that they too can see that Yoga really is for EVERY BODY TYPE. I’m very open with my practice with my emotional journey. This year of Bikram has given me that strength. It will give you that strength too, if you give it a chance. And if it doesn’t work for you, that’s okay too. Find your passion. The Bikram is my passion. It continues to give me undreamed of gifts, gifts I work for.

There’s so much more to my Bikram history, my emotional growth. That will come in future blog entries. Thank you for listening and being a part of this experience with me. The support I continue to receive gives me strength in ways I can’t explain.

 

Namaste!

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Check out my new website: http://www.confessionsofayogaprincess.com

Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaYogaPrincess

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogaprincess7

 

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More than a Number: the Story of How I Lost ??? Amount of Pounds

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When people ask me how much I weigh (and some do ask), I prefer not to answer. When people ask me how much weight I’ve lost (and they ask this as well), I prefer not to answer. Why? Assigning a number to my progress on this path to healing and wellness on all levels (mental, physical and spiritual) places my efforts in a box. Suddenly, all my hard work (and it is hard work) becomes reduced to a number.

The intense work on my emotional healing becomes less significant. My inner growth, which can’t be measured by a number, ceases to matter to the masses. It’s true, mind you, that I’m doing this work for me, but I’d like people to see, through my journey, that when it comes to losing weight, the number on the scale, in so many ways, needs not to have the biggest impact.

When it boils down to it, when it boils down to weight loss, the problem is that all most people want to see is a number. The number overshadows the person, the effort, the time it takes. People see a number, they don’t see a person, and I’ve been invisible long enough. While it may seem an oxymoronic statement, I have indeed been invisible by virtue of my visibility. I’ve lived this for most of my life.

At my heaviest, all most people saw was the outer shell, the fat. They didn’t see me. They saw fat. They felt superior to me.

How do I know this? I’ve had so many verbally abusive encounters it would take volumes of books to detail all of them. As a teenager, I clearly remember walking around the mall and being taunted by children, teenagers, and adults. I can still hear their voices: “You need to do something. You need Richard Simmons.” On one occasion, they followed me around the mall, continuously taunting me. Children teased me all the time. Parents did nothing. Well, okay, sometimes the parents joined in.

Some people would try to help me with my weight, but their lack of sensitivity created more damage, such as when in high school, one of my gym teachers wanted me to walk/run laps during P.E. while the other kids had fun playing tennis and other sports.

Did that help me lose weight? NO! I felt completely ostracized. Being obese, morbidly obese, in high school felt bad enough, but to have an adult set me further apart from my peers made my life much more painful.

Becoming an adult, growing up, didn’t bring much relief from the chronic verbal abuse society felt it had every right to throw at me. People would tell me all the time “You need to do something.” Well, duh! Actually, they were the ones who needed to do something.

Every person who has ever said to an overweight/obese individual that they need help needs to ask themselves if they’re saying something because they legitimately love the person or if they’re saying it because they feel more virtuous because they’re not fat themselves. In the majority of the cases, people feel superior to or better than fat people.

Given the personal history I’ve just revealed, why then am I considering telling you how much weight I’ve lost?

People ask me all the time how much weight I’ve lost, and maybe it’s time I stop hiding behind the question, stop giving it power over me. “A life lived in fear is no life at all.” I have no room in my heart for fear anymore. And I have feared that when people hear the number, they will no longer see me, see my efforts, see that the number doesn’t represent the most important kind of progress.

I also believe that the story I tell you here might help you and others. I have that hope.
People may not realize how they can help, really help, someone struggling with weight loss/food addiction.

Let me tell you by sharing part of my journey. I had to want it first. No matter what others may have said, I had to want it. I had to want to eat healthier, to work out, to look at all the emotional triggers that made me want to overindulge to begin with—that’s where the real work begins. I needed to find that piece of me that desired real change and would work for it.

From the start of my journey three years ago, I knew it had to be an inside job—for this to last it had to come from the inside out. Sure, I wanted a quick fix. I dreamed of instant fixes like we see on television shows like The Biggest Loser.

But more than anything, more than that overnight pill, I wanted permanent, lasting change—I still do. I started walking outside and on the treadmill. I started keeping a regular hatha yoga practice. I started taking a closer look at my food. I worked at counting calories. That worked for me slowly. I introduced healthier foods into my days. I journaled about how I felt on days I ate unhealthy foods. I looked at people, places, situations that made me want to eat emotionally, and I slowly (well not so slowly) changed some of those situations.

It felt like hell sometimes; some days it still feels like hell. Some people supported me. Others didn’t. I’ve changed a lot.

I became my own person. Actually, I still am becoming that woman, maybe for the first time in my life.

I’m learning to sculpt the essence of who I am by incorporating more meditation into my life and learning to appreciate the sheer beauty of silence, my silence.

I lifted weights. I worked my buns at becoming more fit. Then, last April, during a rough spot in my life, I discovered Bikram Yoga and fell in love, really fell in love with sweat and discovered the real meaning of sweating away emotional toxins. I’m finding my inner strength, learning to rely on self, learning to see I’m beautiful just the way I am. And I’m learning to love my body in this moment. I’m making peace with my physical self.

That’s how I came to lose 168 pounds in three years. There I said it.

But that number in no way defines me, defines who I am, defines my soul. My journey will always be defined by more than a number. I’m more than a number. Whatever your number is, you have value just the way you are. What you weigh, how much you want to lose, how much you want to gain—those are numbers. They are not now, nor will they ever be, you.

I know that with continued intense internal and external work, that I’ll achieve my goals: a healthier spirit, mind, and, yes, body. I hope that by sharing this sensitive piece of my journey, you’ll see that you, too, can have the life you want, if you work for it.

Here’s one of my favorite transformational pics:

One of my favorite transformation pics.

One of my favorite transformation pics.

Here’s the link to a Bob Seger song that reflects my thoughts on numbers:

Follow more of my journey on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaYogaPrincess

Numbers I Like

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Some numbers I like! Some numbers I just don’t (but more about that in a later blog!). Having worked so darn hard over the past three years to create a better, stronger and healthier life for myself, I LOVE being able to wear designer clothes, fancy clothes, colorful clothes!

Actually, I always have worn colorful clothes, but I’ve had to purchase them from catalogs, specializing in larger sizes, and not from stores! Now, I can go into department stores and sometimes into boutiques and find clothes that fit me, that look good on me, that make me smile even more than I do now when I see myself in the mirror!

While shopping at the Dillard’s in the Scottsdale Fashion Square this past February I found two delightfully divine designer dresses. A size 20 Ralph Lauren floral print dress and a size 18 blue Calvin Klein dress! The size 20 (that’s a number I LOVE) Ralph Lauren fits now and looks stunning—well that’s how others have described me anyways! The Calvin Klein doesn’t quite fit, but came close enough for me to buy it!

Moments like these, shopping for designer clothes, keep me motivated to work harder at eating healthier, working out, and, yes, doing the BIkram. Watching my body change during the past year makes me aware of how much doing Bikram has toned my ENTIRE body. I can’t always feel it, but when I look at pictures I can see it! And that’s the coolest feeling there is!

Come walk the runway with me!! You’ll never know where it’ll take you!! And the next time you see me wearing the Calvin Klein dress, I’ll be wearing it out in public, which means my body will have melted away just a bit more!  And I’ll proudly tell people I’m wearing a size 18 Calvin Klein dress from Dillard’s!  That’s a number I LIKE!!!

BTW, it may look like the Calvin Klein dress fits, but it is a bit snug!

Follow more of my journey on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaYogaPrincess

Oh and I paid less than $35 for this dress on clearance!  Dang I look good in it!  Bought matching earrings too!  They cost $4!!!!

 

Calvin Klein

In the pic of the Calvin Klein dress from the side the loose skin hanging from my biceps makes the toning more evident!

Calvin Klein Side View

 

In the view of the back of the dress, I guess I’ll have to admit to myself that I really don’t have much back fat! Also, my calves look pretty darn shapely here!

Calvin Klein Back Image

 

Here I am rockin’ it in Ralph Lauren!!

Rocking it in a size 20 Ralph Lauren

Rocking it in a size 20 Ralph Lauren

Naked Yoga: I’ve tried it! Have you? (Body Perception Part Three)

Got your attention, eh? If there was a February 29th it would be the 10 month anniversary of the day I started taking Bikram. I’ve chronicled so many of my internal and external changes, many of which have surprised me, but none so much as the personal revelations I experienced the day I tried Naked Yoga. Not the Naked Yoga you might have heard about where you have to send in pictures of yourself to be approved to practice.  They actually only offer Naked Yoga for men, and only fit men at that.

My naked yoga was more personal. A few days ago when I was involved in making a yoga video I decided to film myself, without clothes, doing some yoga poses. I wanted to see what my body looked like, really looked like, without the mask that clothing provides. I didn’t know what I’d see. I didn’t know how I’d feel. I’ve spent so many years having such negative thoughts about my body, and that’s not really surprising given that my body was, for years, too big to do things people take for granted such as sitting in a booth or buying underwear in a regular store.

It’s been so easy to see all that I thought or felt was wrong with my body. If I didn’t hear my own thoughts, I’d hear others snickering around me, pointing at me, whispering, etc. It was hard to find the good in something so many people told me was wrong.  Or if I got a compliment it was “you have a pretty face, but……..”

My thoughts have changed much during this past year. I’ve gone from being semi-covered up in my yoga classes to practicing in bike shorts and a sports bra. And I’m quite comfortable with that mode of dress.

But something in me wanted to see how my body moved. How it really looked. So I closed my blinds, turned on my lights, set my camera to film, took off my clothes and did some yoga.  Naked Yoga.  I went through just a few of the postures I normally do, and after I finished, I got dressed and sat in front of my computer for a viewing.

As I watched the video, I found myself more than pleasantly surprised by my reaction. I didn’t experience a single bit of negativity. I could literally feel myself appreciating how my body moved. I loved seeing that my abdomen, which I don’t much care for, didn’t look as big as sometimes I feel it to be. I loved seeing how freely my body could move. Sure it jiggled and wiggled, but that’s to be expected unless one has had an all over botox job!

Perhaps, most importantly, I felt no shame. I watched. I observed. I appreciated. I expressed gratitude. I liked what I saw. And that I never saw coming. And that I’m grateful for in ways I can’t express. I could see where I’d been. I could visualize where I’m working toward being. And I saw where I am right now. And that’s an image I love.

That’s a feeling I couldn’t imagine having 10 months ago, or even a few months ago. I’ve looked at myself in the mirror without clothes, but seeing myself move—that’s something entirely differently altogether.

If you’re feeling brave enough, I’d recommend at least watching your body move, while you’re not wearing clothes. You never know what you might see, and your experience might just surprise you!  Love yourself! It’s an amazing feeling!

BTW, these videos will NEVER be put online, but they’ll be there for me to see, for me to measure my progress.

IF you’d like, please feel free to follow my daily journey on facebook via my community fitness page:

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaHawaiianPrincess

and my personal facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/IggieSue

While I won’t show you those videos, here is an un photoshopped pic of me, sans make-up, with my hair in its natural state!

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On Finding Balance—In and Out of the Yoga Room

I am unbalanced. Well, my body is anyways (see pic below). The right side of my body is bigger than the left. I notice it. I’ve always noticed it. When I was heavier, and could BARELY, if at all, fit in a booth I’d always scoot in with the left side of my body because it was smaller and would fit in a little easier. Sometimes, most of the time, I’d just avoid booths altogether.

When I say the right side of my body is larger than the left, I mean my right arm, right thigh, right calf and yes, the right side of my abdomen. So, what can be done about this? Well, achieving balance takes effort and doesn’t happen overnight. A few months ago, my instructor, Loren observed that I’d always turn over the same way when doing the floor series (the ½ part of the postures in Bikram), so he suggested I alternate sides between poses.

In the ensuing months I noticed the strength in my body shifting. I still favor the right side, but the left is growing in strength and slowly my body is becoming more balanced. SLOWLY. But that’s okay, because I find myself appreciating the emerging muscle tone in my core, which I notice when I’m activating it.

This improved balance is impacting so much more than my body. It has me thinking about how I live and love my life moment to moment. How am I living each day? Each activity? Do I approach each facet of my life with joy?

These are tough questions, with even tougher answers. I haven’t cared for some of what I’ve seen. I’ve sensed the need for certain impending changes, and rather than wait until I’ve reached my breaking point, I’ve decided to change certain aspects of my life NOW!

One obvious change involves how I spend my free time. I usually spend one afternoon a week doing some volunteer work, and I’ve come to see I need to cut back. I need to spend more time taking care of me. After all, while helping people is essential, I can’t really help anyone unless I put my own oxygen mask on first. I’ve spent too much of my life putting others first, at the expense of my own happiness, my own joy, my own laughter. In many ways, this is the first time I’m actually living MY life.

I have a food addiction and beating it takes time and effort. I need to spend more time working on my food, preparing and planning my food.  Because that’s going affect how I feel. The cleaner I eat, the better I feel about myself. The better I feel about myself, the happier I am. When I am happier I have more energy. When I have more energy I reach greater heights in the yoga room, on the hiking trails, in meditation. I have a greater ability to just be.

And more than anything, I want to be happier, to be lighter in mind. All of the support I’ve been honored to receive from people all over the world has increased in me the desire to work harder at making my life better.

As my plans come to fruition, I’ll write a blog on food prep. And as an aside, I have a yoga goal that I’d like to reach by my birthday in April. Currently, I can’t quite reach my feet in floor bow. I’m willing to take the time to care for my body so that I’ll be able to reach that goal, and then go beyond that to even greater heights!

IF you’d like, please feel free to follow my daily journey on facebook via my community fitness page:

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaYogaPrincess

the photo below is from July 2013

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Coming from My Core: Intimate Revelations On Nine Months of Sweat, Blood (not really), and Tears

This Wednesday will mark the nine month anniversary of the day I started Bikram. Nine months usually signifies the birth of a some thing. In my case, in this case it’s the realization that I’m capable of making the choice, of taking action to create change and work toward the body I want to have.

I sat down last night to write in my journal thoughts I have about my body in this moment, in this now. I’m tired of feeling my stomach resting on my thighs when I sit down. Mind you it used to be worse when I was heavier, but still…..it’s a feeling I don’t like. I’ve written a bit lately on my facebook page about taking action to change that, but I woke up this morning with the idea that I’d detail my efforts.

By actively and consciously thinking about the movements and efforts I’m undergoing to activate my core and shrink my abdomen, I can track my progress, and that’s one of the best ways of feeling better about myself—seeing ALL KINDS of progress.

I’m focusing here on some of the poses of the standing series in the Bikram sequence. Some day when time allows I’ll do an entry on all the poses. I’ve included pics, but please bear in mind that I’ve used my camera with a 10 second timer so the poses aren’t my full expression. I have attempted in each pic to be consciously activating my core.

Everything comes from the breath.

Pose 1: Standing Deep Breathing

Here I’m making an effort to keep my core activated when I inhale AND exhale. This is something I’ve had to work toward. I didn’t always have the abdominal strength to keep my core activated while exhaling. I know when I first tried it I would hold my breath when I exhaled. Now I BREATHE while keeping my core tightened!

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Pose 2: Half-Moon

It’s one thing to bend sideward. It’s another to activate my core and bend from there. When I first started doing the yoga I’m not sure I fully grasped how to move from my core, but, as hard as it is, I feel stronger for moving from my core.

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Pose 3: Awkward

Oy. It’s my nemesis, this one, BUT when I pull in my core while I squat I can FEEL my abdomen lift off my thighs and that’s a pretty cool feeling!

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Pose 4: Eagle

When I pull in my core here I can bend my standing leg deeper, and I FEEL a greater sense of balance. The more balance I feel on the mat, the more I feel it OFF the mat!

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Pose 5: Standing Forehead to Knee

Another nemesis! Here I’ve discovered a trick: when I activate my core AND lift my abdomen with my hands I can lift my leg higher, which strengthens my leg and trains my abdomen that it’s NOT the boss of THIS BODY!!!

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Pose 6: Standing Bow Pulling Pose

No pic here! And this one I’m having lots of trouble with. I don’t feel like I’m coming from my core. I feel like I’m just doing all I can to stay upright.

Pose 7: Standing Separate Leg Stretch

When I don’t go down with my core here, I’ve noticed I feel it in my lower back and NOT in a good way! I’m finding I do feel like my torso is longer when I go down in this one.  It’s not about how far I go—it’s about moving my body in a healthy manner so it can reach further than where it’s been.

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Pose 8: Triangle

Here’s the thing with triangle. Here’s the thing with my real desire to focus on my core, my alignment. I don’t want to waddle! It’s true! When I was not in shape, when I was not active I WADDLED.  I didn’t like it. It’s one of the main reasons I LOVE yoga so much. The deeper my practice goes, the less I waddle, the more my body is in alignment. When I take pictures these days, for the most part my feet are aligned, instead of torqued!  When I hike, my feet point straight ahead. So when I do triangle, I look to feel that I have engaged my core and that my back is in alignment. I can go deeper into triangle when I’m not in alignment but that defeats the purpose.

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Pose 9: Standing Separate Leg Head-to-knee pose

Same as above basically. It’s easy to bend over. It’s work to move with the breath, but I’m worth IT!!!

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Pose 10: Toe-Stand

I can now work on an adapted version of this pose! This helps me see my progress!  And that’s pretty cool!

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I want a better life. I don’t mean for that to sound sad. It’s not. I feel so so very grateful for all the wonderful people, places, things that are in my life. I’m very lucky in that regard, and I know it. Working out is hard work. Yoga is hard work. I can sit here and whine and bemoan that I don’t like parts of my body, including my abdomen, or I can celebrate where I am and all the hard work I did to get here, because if I can get here, imagine where I’ll be in a few months!

It’s not that I spend every moment of every class consciously thinking about activating my core or thinking that I wish my abdomen was smaller. I don’t. But I do concentrate on getting into a pose to maximize the benefits and once I’m in the pose I allow my self, my body to be, to explore the depths it’s reaching.

But it’s not just my body, it’s my mind. My ability to express my self here is a direct reflection of my mental growth, a direct reflection that I feel less shame about my body than I used to. I accept my self, this body more. And when I look in the mirror, in class or out of class I have different level of appreciation. I’m not saying my thoughts are always positive, but I’m in such a better place than I was last week, last month, last year.

I may not know where I’m going these days, but I know when I get there I’ll stand tall, with my feet, my back, and my heart in alignment with the universe!

As I inserted these pics into this post, I could feel my body go into shock. I can’t explain it. It’s one thing to do yoga. It’s one thing to take pics, but to look at the pics is something else. It’s very difficult for me to be this vulnerable. It cuts to my core (no pun intended), but honesty is and has been a corner stone of this journey I’m on.

There’s nothing wrong with this body. But I can work on making it better in body, mind and soul. That’s what I want. That’s what I deserve. That’s what I’m working toward.

(And when time allows I’m going to take much better pics–with a smile and a tiara!)

Follow more of my journey on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaYogaPrincess

Real Women DO Yoga: Yoga is for EVERY BODY!!!

Not too long ago I noticed a trend on some of the yoga fb pages I “like”. Pictures of young handsome studly men would pop up with the tagline “Real Men Do Yoga”, with obvious implications.

These pictures reinforce the media enforced notion that any body type that doesn’t have that “hot” look isn’t perhaps worthy of an “ooh” or an “ahh” and thus wouldn’t lure people to yoga or any other activity.

But how many people actually walk around with airbrushed appearances. Not many. The greater truth, beyond physical appearance, is that Real Women and Real Men DO YOGA.  Yoga is for EVERY BODY.

I am a real woman and I DO yoga. What does a real woman look like? What do I look like?

*I have insecurities, doubts, fears

*I have intensely engaging eyes that reveal the strength and truth of my spirit

*I have a body that’s larger than some and smaller than others

*Sometimes I feel sad; sometimes I feel happy

*Most of my weight is in my abdomen; I don’t much like that, but I’m working on it

*I love what this body can do at this moment, at this size: yoga, cycling, hiking and soooo much more

This Real Woman does yoga, does life wherever she goes. On a recent trip to Texas I decided to compose a series of shots of me doing yoga poses on the go. This will be the start of a continuing pictorial series, which I will title “Yoga is for EVERY BODY”.

This means Yoga is for YOUR BODY. It doesn’t matter if your short, tall, wide narrow—none of that matters. IF you can breathe you can DO YOGA!  If I can do it, you can do it. If you think you can’t, then take a look a look my Texas yoga pictures and you’ll know you can.

Yoga, at its, core isn’t about your body type or size, it’s about healing you from the inside out. It’s about creating the life you want from a place of strength, from a place of knowing. It’s finding the strength and beauty within to formulate the life you DESERVE. Don’t accept less from yourself. You deserve the best.

Yoga is helping to heal me from the inside out. Before I started Bikram I NEVER would have imagined that I could or even would willingly allow this body to be seen doing yoga poses. I based my self-worth on my physical size. I’m learning not to do that. I’m learning to see the beauty in me as I am now, and that’s really all that matters because all any of us has is now.

Celebrate your NOW!  Do YOUR YOGA!!  And remember………

Yoga is for EVERY BODY

and

Real Women DO yoga

(here are a few pics to get the show on the road. more will be posted when time allows.)

Tree!

Tree!

Rabbit!!!

Rabbit!!!

Women Warriors!

Women Warriors!

TexasYoga3

Backbending in Waco!

Backbending in Waco!

Namaste Waco!

Namaste Waco!