I almost didn’t post this picture on my Instagram account because I thought my butt looked huge and the folds on my midsection looked fat.
It’s ridiculous. My butt is not huge, I am not fat. And if my butt was huge and I was bigger, so what?
What matters to me is how I feel in my body and in this pic, on this day. I feel beautiful, peaceful, and comfortable in my own skin. And that’s all that should matter. Eating healthfully is one thing, obsessing about what size or shape your body is, well, that’s something else.
I remember looking at pictures of girls in magazines when I was a teenager and realizing that I would never be like them. No matter how hard I worked, what diets I used, or what magic tricks I performed—I would just never be shaped like them.
It has taken me nearly my whole life to be okay with that.
It was like some dark and twisted place inside of myself—I thought only the tall and beautiful were worthy of love and success. I was short and frumpy, so me and my thick thighs weren’t getting any dates—nor did we have any chance of living our dreams. How sad is that?
I had to start practicing yoga to finally see that it’s not the size or shape that matters. One of the first things I loved about yoga was that my body was actually capable of something.
With practice I could learn how to do backbends, twists, and maybe even handstands! While this lifted my self-worth out of the gutter, the danger in the yoga world is trading the attachment to the unattainable standard of beauty with the unattainable standard of asana.
Chasing beauty externally and judging yourself for not fitting the mold is harsh. But so is chasing the perfect asana and judging yourself harshly when you’re not pressing up into a handstand and everyone else is.
It’s the chasing that has to stop.
When we realize it’s not about the pose, it’s not about the handstand press, it’s not about fitting into a size 0, it’s not about being 6 feet tall, it’s about being yourself and letting your practice be an honest window into your soul.
So many people don’t practice yoga because they think they’re the wrong size or shape, the wrong age or gender.
But really, truly, the perfect body for yoga (and life) is the one you have. Right now.
Author: Kino Macgregor
Image: @kinoyoga Instagram
Editor: Sara Kärpänen