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8 Bad Yogi Ways to Love Your Body

Let’s stop pretending that everyone in the yoga world loves their bodies. We all get self-conscious, even body love coaches like myself.  No amount of Lululemon gear and handstands selfies can make that go away.

As a yoga teacher and body love coach, I’ve discovered incredible tools for loving and appreciating my body. Today I’m bringing you a few of my favorites. These are my 8 Bad Yogi Ways to Love Your Body.

  1. Be selfish.
    Selfishness isn’t always a bad thing. Wanting a better relationship with your body is selfish in the greatest sense of the word. Give yourself permission to lack all consideration for what others think about your body. Selfishly pursue a loving relationship with your body purely for personal profit and pleasure.
  2.  Stop caring about how you look in your yoga pants.
    Make your life and your yoga more about feeling good and less about looking good. Adopt my favorite mantra – Will this make me feel good?  Does my butt look big in those pants? I have no idea. I’m too busy not caring as I soak in a post-yoga bubble bath serenaded by Michael Buble on Spotify.
  3. Don’t fixate on traditional alignment.
    Traditional alignment does not work for every body. Take for instance the fact that I am not at all like the thin, middle-aged Indian men who created the traditional yoga posture alignment. I am a short, twenty-six year old woman with hips that don’t lie. My torso doesn’t gracefully twist around my thighs in rotated postures. Rather, I’m left to twist only as far as my breasts, which have been strapped down by a straight jacket-esque sports bra, and hips will allow. It’s not traditional, but it works for me.
  4. Meditate your way.
    Let meditation be whatever you want it to be. Maybe it’s lying down on the floor in silence, walking outside, dancing, or singing loudly in your car. To mend my own relationship with my body I needed to soothe it, but I also needed to have fun with it. Creating my own meditation style has allowed me to do just that.
  5. Know that green smoothies don’t matter.
    Yes, you heard me correctly. Green smoothies don’t matter. If they make you feel bloated like they do me, or you can’t stomach the thought of consuming spinach in liquid form, ditch the smoothies. There are other healthy foods. You’re still a badass wellness goddess without the liquid greens.
  6. Stop doing yoga postures that don’t feel good.
    I hate standing on my head. It hurts my neck and my shoulders for days afterwards. Headstand does not make me feel good, so I don’t do it. Here is your free pass to ignore any posture that totally sucks.
  7. Make up mantras. The sanskrit mantras rarely resonate with me, so I make up my own like – trust the process and practice radical belief – to help me counter negative self-talk. It’s fun. Try it.
  8. Ditch the morning ritual.
    Perhaps the baddest yogi thing of all – how can I even function without a morning ritual?! Don’t worry, I’m doing just fine. In order to experience fun, love, and appreciation in my body I need to clock some serious shut-eye. If you’re like me, stop trying to force yourself to wake up earlier than necessary to carry out a morning ritual. The extra sleep is amazing.8 Bad Yogi Ways to Love Your Body

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Cara

    March 3, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Great post, Brandy. I thought surely, that at 38, I’d have complete body love. But I’m still working on it. I have gotten much better about being selfish, also pass on green smoothies, but love my morning ritual (I fit in that extra sleep on the other end – I often fall asleep reading or watching tv at 8:30 or 9).

    1. Brandy @ Body Love Tribe

      Brandy @ Body Love Tribe

      March 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Thanks, Cara! So great to hear that you are listening to your body and doing what feels best for you. If you love your morning ritual, and you’re clocking enough shut eye, keep that baby going!

  2. Amanda

    Amanda

    March 3, 2016 at 11:55 am

    I love this! Consistently loving the body is challenging….I try to focus on what it can do rather than what it looks like. (Because I’ve also noticed that my glee or terror has a lot to do with the bathroom lighting.)

    I especially love #6. With the rise of Instagram yoga, I think it’s common to start feeling like we’re not doing yoga unless we’re trying to master all the wild poses. And that’s crazy. Not every pose is suitable for every person, and not every pose is even beneficial! This morning I saw an honest and refreshing Instagram post about arm balances, and how they only fuel the fire for that particular pitta…and when yoga is about finding balance in life, those poses only serve to take him out of balance when practiced in excess. Listening to ourselves helps us identify those poses that serve us best. 🙂

    Great post, thank you!

    1. Brandy

      Brandy

      March 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks, Amanda! Loving our bodies can definitely be challenging. I feel similarly about the rise of Instagram yoga. There are some breathtaking photos, but many of those postures are advanced, take years of practice, and don’t always feel great in our bodies. I love that you mentioned listening to ourselves to identify the postures that work best in our bodies – so true!

  3. Avatar

    Harriet

    March 3, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I love this! I am the heaviest I’ve ever been due to medication but honestly, thanks to a combination of a healthy relationship and yoga I feel pretty damn awesome! I am really learning not to give a shit about what other people think!

    1. Brandy

      Brandy

      March 4, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      Harriet, I love it! Your outlook is amazing. It’s not our weight that determines our happiness – it’s whether or not we’re taking the time to feel good, have fun, and love our bodies!

  4. Avatar

    Erich

    March 3, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! We already have a Bad Yogi, so I guess I can be Mod Yogi, with my love for modifying my practice and life. Or Modd Pozer…hmmm. Love all of these, but I draw the line at #2! 😀

    1. Brandy

      Brandy

      March 4, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Awesome, Erich. Mod Yogi. Modd Pozer – I love them both!

  5. Avatar

    LisaZ

    March 3, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Thank you for this. I can now stop beating my self up because I can’t do a standing forward fold without bending my knees so that my hands/palms touch the floor. And I don’t like headstand either because I always get a headache and my neck bothers me.

    1. Brandy

      Brandy

      March 4, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      You’re welcome! Definitely make the postures what they need to be for you. Your yoga does not have to look like anyone else’s yoga!

  6. Avatar

    Eva

    March 3, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    I’m gonna add this post to my favorites and read it anytime I feel bad about my body or think that my yoga practice is not good enough. We need this kind of common sense in the yoga community.

    1. Brandy

      Brandy

      March 4, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Eva – that is so wonderful to hear! We live in a “not [blank] enough society”. It gets to us all sometimes. But, having that awareness to step back and recognize that your yoga is good enough and, most importantly, that you are good enough is the ticket to radical self-love.

  7. Avatar

    Jenny

    March 4, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Love, love this. Do these yoga pants make my butt AND stomach look big? Asked myself and a mirror that question this week. Took the pants off even though I love the colors and designs. How sad. I’m gonna wear them tomorrow to teach and force the confidence which always seems to translate into confidence! Faking it does work sometimes. I hate headstand also. Refuse to teach it too. Just me. Shoulderstands I can do but my shoulders are strong but I can’t seem to nail arm balances. Could b because I have DDD boobs, which original makes yogis didn’t have, which screws with my balance AND they get.in.the.way!! 50 and still working on loving, appreciating, accepting my body and body type. Thank you again

    1. Brandy

      Brandy

      March 4, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Jenny – you are perfect. Rock those bright, funky pants. Encourage your students to do what feels best in their unique bodies. And, most importantly, just have fun with it. Be the change.

      And, I hear you about the boobs. As a short, curvy woman, my postures often look nothing like the underwear-clad Indian men in the traditional yoga books. I just roll with it and have fun 🙂

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