Love Your Perfectly Imperfect Body.
Recently a friend and I were discussing ideas about the female body.
It had to do with an upcoming yoga retreat we are hosting and an image she had posted of her and another girl doing yoga on the beach. I’m not entirely sure what was triggered within me. I love both of these women deeply and I feel as though they are both incredibly beautiful inside and out. So what was the problem?
To me, it was this idea being perpetuated that you must have six-pack abs and a tightly toned bikini body in order to do yoga. It represented everything I dislike about what I see on various social media posts and magazine ads. It felt misaligned with what I teach in my yoga classes, and the words I speak to clients and friends. It felt foreign and unusual that my name was somehow attached to this image.
And I felt agitated that I could not adequately express this to her, my sweet friend, who in my view has a perfectly toned bikini body.
But she said something to me that shocked me.
She too had her insecurities around her body. I won’t go into detail about her story, but that revelation surprised me.
Even more surprising to me was the revelation that came to me from that interaction. Suddenly I realized I had been deeming her as having a perfect body, and in that thought I was subtly deeming my own body to be less than perfect.
So then I wondered why.
Who told me what is/was beautiful?
Who shaped my views and beliefs around acceptable body types or bodies that should be in bikinis?
Was it the media? Was it the society in which I was raised?
And if so, when did we as a society collectively decide to let others deem our worth based upon these ideas of beauty?
Most importantly, if given the option, would I trade my body with someone else’s if I could?
I’m not sure about those first few questions, but I can tell you the answer to that last question is an unequivocal Hell No!
This idea that I would want to walk around in any other form other than this current one is abhorrent to me. That I would want to trade my legs or my hips or my stomach and breasts with someone else’s felt like the deepest form of rejection I could muster.
And so I stopped because I recognized that in a sense, I had been rejecting myself. Every time I had even remotely of thought I should be or should not be doing something based on my body type, it was both a judgment and a form of rejection.
And both of these actions were based completely on outside perceptions that I had allowed to infiltrate my body and then shape-shift into my truth.
So to those ideas and long held notions, I now say Fuck that! I never gave my permission to take on those views to begin with, and I absolutely reject those ideas around what is or is not beautiful.
I understand that I get to choose what’s beautiful, no one else.
Maybe you can relate?
If so, I invite you to say these words out loud. Say them multiple times a day. Say them to friends and family, say them so often that they finally become your truth.
I am beautiful.
My worth is determined by me.
Society does not get to define my beauty.
I am perfectly imperfect.
I love my body!
I love everything this body does for me, oftentimes without my conscious effort.
In this moment, I choose to recognize my perceived flaws as just that — perception — and I understand that I am free to change my perception any time I want.
I accept all parts of myself.
I love myself fully, just as I am.
This is an invitation to love yourself exactly as you are. Feel free to add more affirmations if you want, but I invite you to say these words for at least 28 days.
No one is without wounds — it is the human experience. So love the body you have, and recognize the gift that you are. And remember that we all have our insecurities, even those individuals whom we perceive as perfect.
And to that end, I will say that in this experience, I have been able to surrender more of my own judgments around yoga on the beach. Though I still know it is not really my thing, I understand that total self-acceptance also means embracing my own humanness around perception and assumptions.
Sometimes… people just like to do yoga on the beach.
Natalie Sophia considers herself a blend of many things, but mostly she identifies as a writer, intuitive healer, mama and yogini. She has a Masters Degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and her passion lies in helping others heal from emotional trauma. Her current methods of practice include a blend of creative expression, movement alchemy, energy work and nutritional guidance. She serves as a coach to assist others on their paths back to the perfection of their imperfection to remember the brilliance contained therein. Natalie currently resides in Maui, Hawaii, but can work with people all over the globe. To contact her directly, please visit her website here or follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Mahalo!