So, my home studio is up on the 3rd floor, and when it's warm out, it starts getting sizzlin' up there. Makes for some nice sweat time! And I must say, that I never bare my belly when I teach, and rarely ever when I practice in public. I just usually find it distracting for all. Don't get me wrong, I love cute yoga clothes (hello Be Present, and Kira Grace...). And I love yogis being proud of their bodies.
For me, personally, I love seeing all of the different shapes and sizes walking into class and practicing with me. And so, especially for women, I feel like we have plenty of other body image stimulation to deal with. Our mats are one of the few places that are supposed to get us away from those thoughts. Plus, people that might appear weak from the outside, often end up surprising all with such profound strength. Or those that seem like they'd be super bendy and fit, might actually be super tight in more ways than one. A glance at someone's body doesn't say s#*& about their practice, much less who they are. But do I really need to say that?! We forget sometimes...
Our yoga community both here and everywhere you go with it can be a constant look at how beautiful we all are when giving up the body image hype and giving in to the reflective and deeper meanings behind the reason to practice and how it makes you feel.
So check it: I am a former athlete, and naturally muscular gal. Doesn't mean I can do every asana in the books. Far from it. However, 12 years of practice has kept me pretty strong, and flexible for the average gal, I suppose. After having Isak, it did take around 7+ months to get back into some old favorite asanas (and old sizes). And though I'm strong in some ways, I have lots of work to do in other ways both physically and spiritually. Plus, my belly sticks out a little more, and with some extra skin...and well, I kinda like it! So I say, if you want to practice bare-bellied from time to time...go for it! Especially in the summer. And practicing yoga means you already are, or are on your way to health and joy both inside and out, so why not own it, be it, breathe it how you please. It can feel liberating and loving to know that you are who you are and it's awesome. Sin Fang sings it right!
The Sequence in plain english:
-Standing hand to big toe pose, into hip opener
-Deep forward fold into halfway lift into chair...switch sides
*Make sure to warm-up before with lots of sun salutes and lunges to warm the hips. And to cool down after with a variation of forward folds, seated poses, and maybe a few backbends before your final rest.
Heading out this lovely day to practice with visiting LA teacher, Kathryn Budig for some ultimate body image inspiration and strength guidance.
Summer Solstice is Wednesday (6/20), and I'll be teaching 6-7:15pm at Karma Yoga Studio in Harvard. Bring it.