By Ntathu Allen
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and felt good, real good about yourself? When you looked did you take time to smile and admire your figure, your womanly curves and lustrous lips? Or did you tug the spare tire round your waist and suck in your cheeks in the vain hope of looking “thinner”?
How about your thighs? Or your ankles? Are you happy with the shape of your legs? Do you wear clothes which flatter and enhance your figure? Or do you think you are too fat, too unfit, too old or even too ugly to wear stylish, colorful clothes?
Like most of you, I am aware of the effect stereotypical images of women have on our minds and bodies. Every where you look there are images of women, who look young, youthful and dazzling. Success is equated with being young, slim and beautiful. If you don’t shape up then you are considered out of the race.
How does that make you feel? How can you possible feel good about yourself if you think you do not match up to the “typical view of women-hood?” How can you stand tall, be proud and happy if your body shape, race or religion is not represented in mainstream society – do you feel ashamed and embarrassed or are you able to hold your own and be happy with the way you look?
Sometimes life sucks and no matter how much you diet, change your hairstyle or even stay at home and hide yourself away, there comes a time in your life when you want to shine, feel happy and glad to be recognized for who you are.
How Yoga Can Help You Get In Shape
Yoga is coming to be considered as a modern day remedy for many of society’s ailments.
It is my belief that the practice of yoga offers you a set of tools – yoga asanas, meditation techniques, breathing exercises and a healthy attitude to eating – which enables you to get in shape from the inside out.
Learning to love and accept yourself – as you are- not as you think you should look like – is one of the most important life lessons you can learn. It is good to “look good” on the outside. For some people, ‘looking good and in good shape’ means looking radiant and healthy, for others, this means being a size 8 and wearing designer clothes.
Yoga is about balance – to feel good and look good on the inside and outside. To be in shape, means to be happy and contented with yourself on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. As a holistic health care system, yoga equips you with all the tools and mindset needed to achieve this state of being.
Yoga Inspires You To See Your Inner Beauty
Meditation helps you to see through the illusion portrayed by the media and amplified through your mind to the ideal view of women. Regular practice of meditation supports your desire to accept your present body shape whilst working to improve your health and well- being.
Yoga exercises give your body an internal stretch, helps to realign and rebalance your energy. Yoga postures improve your sense of body awareness. So you feel lighter, your posture is enhanced, you become more flexible and more in tune with what your body needs in the present moment. All necessary life skills to support you feel good and in love with who you are.
Yoga breathing exercises helps to calm and focus your mind. A few rounds of deep yogic breathing shifts your focus and puts you back in the zone, your higher creative way of being. This technique is particular useful if you are having a “bad hair day” or “feel fat and ugly”.
Yogis traditional eat wholesome, natural and animal-free diets. A healthy yogic diet, one that is rich in seeds, nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables and easy digestible foods all help to keep your body nourished and your brain hydrated and healthy.
When you eat well, meditate and exercise regularly, you shine. Your skin glows, people are attracted to you. You radiate positive vibes. You are in good shape and feel good from the inside out.
So rather than trying to conform to societys’ worn-out view of what it is “to be in shape” – prac