We all know the physical benefits of yoga. It strengthens and tones the muscles, increases flexibility and gives you some well-deserved headspace. In addition to these physical benefits, the practice brings a host of emotional changes too, including a better relationship with yourself. When practised regularly, yoga takes you on a transformative and insightful journey, increasing your confidence and building a strong relationship between the body and mind.
Want to learn to love your body? Put on your yoga pants and hit the mat. Over time, you’ll learn to appreciate everything it does for you, rather than pass judgement when clothes don’t fit right. In this article, we explore yoga’s lessons on loving your body in more detail.
When you practice yoga regularly, you become more attuned to your body and what it needs. Many people don’t realise they’re unaware of their body until they find that they aren’t anymore. Unfortunately, it can be hard to spot a disconnection with your body. When you can touch it and feel it moving, how can you be unaware of your physical self? Well, once you start to connect with your body regularly through frequent yoga practice, it becomes clear how easy it is. A well-rounded yoga class uses every single part of the body. For instance, you may need to engage your big toes. While you’ve always known they were there, you may not have considered how you were using them. Through yoga, you develop a newfound awareness of your body’s potential and learn to harness its power. When you realise the incredible power of your body, it’s hard not to fall in love with it.
Yoga’s second lesson on loving your body is growth. Every time you hit the studio, you’ll notice a positive change in your practice. Sometimes it will be small, like a deeper backbend or more fluent transitions. And sometimes it will be massive, like practising an unsupported headstand for the first time. Whatever the size of the improvement, the positive change feels amazing. Seeing frequent improvements to your body boosts your confidence and teaches you how to truly love yourself.
When you start noticing changes to your body, you sit back and watch it with sheer amazement. Yoga shoes us exactly what our bodies are capable of. Before practising yoga, I bet you couldn’t balance your body weight on your arms or wrap your arms and legs into Eagle Pose and balance on a single bent leg. There’s a good chance you couldn’t even touch your toes, let alone stand unsupported on your head. With regular practice, you can learn to do these things and when you do, you’ll be in awe of what your body is learning. Whether you’re nailing an advanced posture or you’re just moving deeper into a pose, you’ll realise that your body is strong, powerful and beautiful, and there’s nothing it can’t do.
Through regular practice, you develop a deeper appreciation for your body as you witness its full potential. Most people will never get the chance to see their body’s ability for strength, balance and flexibility like a yogi does. Most people will never feel the energy of a powerful warrior or the rinse of a deep twist. However, as a yogi, you can experience the wonder within your body every day. Once you witness this, it’s hard not to be grateful for everything your body does. You’ll start to feel thankful that you have a body that is capable of so much and learn to love it more than ever before.
As you progress on your yoga journey, your regular class may become too easy for you. When this happens, the time has come to move up a level. This can be scary to start with, as you’re walking into the unknown surrounded by expert yoginis. However, it doesn’t have to be daunting. During your first few sessions, you’ll probably feel like everybody is better than you – and they may well be. After all, they’re further along in their yoga journey than you, so it’s only natural for them to be a little better at certain postures. Instead of being disappointed that your body cannot do what theirs can, try to see the potential. Watch in admiration at the strong, brilliant practitioners flow into complex postures and then allow yourself to feel the sense of promise. If other yogis can do that, so can you. This will help you to see the sheer potential that lies within your body, and you’ll feel more inspired than ever before. Yoga teaches you to love your body not only for what it can do now, but also for the potential that lies within it.
So, there you have it – yoga’s lessons on loving your body. If you want to learn to love your body, put on your yoga top and practice regularly. Commit to a consistent class or routine that helps you to develop your skills. Over time, you’ll create a new relationship with your body that brings you strength, joy and overwhelming pride. You’ll achieve things that you never thought possible, and you’ll have no choice but to love your body for everything it does for you. If you’re new to yoga, start with a beginner’s yoga class. This way, you’ll be surrounded by yogis of a similar ability. A good instructor will help you perfect your form and develop your skills at your own pace. Before long, you’ll form a deeper relationship with your body and be filled with gratitude, amazement and love.