Tag Archives: body image

ch ch ch changes…

Good morning yogis!!! 

Change is afoot. Change is inevitable. Change is the one thing we can count on for sure….or can we? Yeah, totally we can.

Change comes. Sometimes we go to it, sometimes we run from it, sometimes we embrace it and sometimes we fear it. But change always comes.

Do you know the experience of your full life filling up your full days and not leaving time for much else? Do you also know the experience of getting INSPIRED, and SOMEHOW you seem to CREATE space in your life to ADD something that is IMPORTANT and you WANT to do…? Notice how you WORK REALLY HARD to put in all your time and effort, and you are run off your feet doing all the things you HAVE to do on a regular day to day basis, PLUS WHATEVER IT TAKES to accomplish the CHANGE your are NOW CREATING. Notice how inspired you are and how you don’t care about sleep, and how much you actually look forward to your lunch break spent working on the project, whatever it is…buying a new car, remodeling your house, getting your kids into college, building a business, preparing for a dinner party…you get the drift. We have all sorts of things in our lives that are obligatory, the things we HAVE to do like clean the toilet and get gas in the car…these things are not often inspiring or derivative of our passions, but we do them and make them happen and accept that they are part of daily living.

Change happens in our lives whether we are looking for it or not. Transition. Evolution. Doesn’t matter what you call it, there is no way you can keep everything the same in your life because that is not the nature of the world. 

I read an article the other day talking about mental attitude and how our thoughts dictate our emotions, physical sensations, etc. When you work out and your muscles are sore the next day, you feel excited that you did something, right? You take a “killer” yoga class and the next afternoon you are having trouble sitting down to pee or walking up and down stairs…but you love it!! Ha! You love it because you worked hard at it, you pushed yourself to create change and now you feel the results of your hard work. Reap the rewards. Now, imagine yourself waking up in the morning and rolling over and suddenly feeling a twang of muscle soreness in your back because you slipped and had to torque yourself suddenly so as not to crack your head on the ground…you slipped, not a big deal, you are fine…but the next day you feel it. You have to slowly sit up, slowly stand up, and it hurts to sit down and stand up too much. 

The emotional difference is that one is something that you created and one is something that was just handed to you. Same kind of physical sensations, right? Same kind of result in the physical body, but the emotional and mental difference is what makes all the difference…the sensations and results of doing full camel for the first time and slipping on the ice are almost identical, but one has you get out of bed, chuckle, bend, stretch, chuckle some more, grab your foam roller and tennis ball and get excited to go out and use your body!! The other, makes you not want to move, not want to get out of bed, feel sorry that it happened and reach for the Advil.

All change is the same, I think. Have you ever moved? Like a big move….how about a break-up? A big one. A new job? If you are the INSTIGATOR of change in your life, you move into it with excitement and forward energy, generally. If you are being “forced” to do something, like you got “dumped” or “fired” (such horrible meaning attached to these words!), then the resulting emotions, and physical sensations are laced with doubt, worry, anxiety, fear and overall blech energy…which is only forward moving because you can’t stay where you are anymore, they don’t want you!! Lol, we are such funny humans. If a relationship ends, it wasn’t the right fit anymore. If you lose your job, it’s not the right fit. If you choose that you want to lower your cost of living so as to have more money to raise your family, you choose to move to a different city where you can pay less rent and walk to work…it’s tough and difficult to make a move, to leave your home, to leave your friends and family and familiarity…but what is on the other side is so awesome too!! Thing is, with change, we never really know what is on the other side, so there isn’t that reward of knowing how the change is going to impact you…sometimes only an unknown, to which we can attach any kind of feeling or emotion. 

One of my mentors in my early adulthood used to say, “the only relationship you’ll ever have that ‘worked’ is the one that you’re in when you die”.

Be aware when you let your emotions dictate how you should feel…physically, mentally and spiritually…especially spiritually.

I love you, yogis!! I have been having a love affair with podcasts of a woman named Brene Brown…she has been studying shame (and other things), and is very inspiring!! More to come…

Have a great Saturday xox

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What would you think if you stood alone…?

Hello everyone!! Ah, happy New Year!! What a great new start. I am pretty wishy washy about Christmas (Chanukah) and Thanks Giving, but the New Year???!!! I loooooove the New Year. Yeah!I love that it’s like tearing a page off and having a clean surface. We get to leave behind what isn’t working for us and create new and wonderful things and situations for what we desire. It’s an excuse to change the way we dress, drink, eat, think and behave. We don’t need a reason to make these changes, the reason is built in…it’s a New Year!!

Today in my yoga practice, I had the thought, “if we all always stood alone, what would we think of ourselves?”. If you only ever saw yourself single, as one entity, no one around…if you only ever had yourself to compare yourself to, if you only ever saw how you were rather than how you are in relation to anyone or everyone else, then what would you think about yourself? Think of it…so much of what we think about ourselves is based on a comparison of us to other people. We compare our looks, how we dress, what we have accomplished, job, money, hair, car, voice….I could go on…are you getting what I’m laying down? You see, if I take only what I am, only what I have done or said or have, then I am perfect! There is nothing else, there is no better or worse, there only IS. There only IS what IS. That’s all. Just IS.

Stand alone, my friends. Not alone, as in a “loner”. Surround yourself with people and love and joy…but stand without judgement or comparison. When you start to see yourself as whole and perfect then imagine what is possible.

Go ahead, try it…I bet you’ll like it 😉

Love and clog dancing rainbow coloured unicorn kisses,
Ida


What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

Hi Yogis!

I just finished my morning practice…man am I ever enjoying my yoga practice these days. Some days some postures don’t feel as comfortable physically as others, but the practice of the practice is so amazing for me lately. Why, you ask? Well…let’s see…

What do I see when I look in the mirror? I promised a while back I would post about body image and self image…and I got a reminder (thanks John) about it lastnight, so decided I would give it my best shot today.

I was never skinny or even thin growing up. I was not overweight but I was a chubby child and started developing a woman’s body early in puberty so was never the girl with no boobs and legs for days. My weight has always fluctuated up and down a bit-maybe 10 lbs difference over time, depending on how much I was exercising, how much I was drinking and partying (in my young adulthood) and what I was fueling my body with. When I started practicing Bikram Yoga, I started the correlation between what I did at night and how I felt in class the next day. The amount of partying I did had a DIRECT correlation to how much my heart was pounding the next morning in class….huh….how about that. It got to the point that I wanted to feel good in yoga class and I began making the changes in my life outside the yoga room…such is growing up I think!! In making better lifestyle changes I started feeling better in the yoga room, I began practicing more because there was not as much struggle and more and more my yoga became a constant in my life.

My body did not change right away when I started practicing Bikram yoga. It was a slow and steady process…at first my jeans felt tighter in the legs and I felt like I was holding on in my body instead of letting go. In hind sight, of course, I understand my body now and think I was probably dehydrated back then, as well as building muscles and not flushing my body properly to allow the fat and toxins to be let go…hind sight is 50/50, as they say. When I went to teacher training, the same thing happened to me and my body. I did not lose weight like so many people around me…I felt like I was holding on to everything…like my body was not getting enough fluid and/or the right nutrition that it needed to trust that it could let go of storage…I remember having a conversation with some friends in TT about body image and saying that I accept how I look, the body I have and the size and shape I am. That night in class, Bikram looked right at me and said, “Miss Maroon, I like your size. You know what I mean”…I looked at him, smiled and nodded my head, and was a bit amazed that he somehow knew exactly what I needed to hear in that class. It was the only time Bikram spoke to me in class during my training.

OK…fast forward to a few years later (I think that is a song…!), I was living in Hong Kong, teaching 17 clases/week and practicing every day. I had done my first competition year and started to get more and more inspired about what was possible. I spent all of my time doing yoga and thinking about yoga and, thus, looking at myself in the mirror. I was surrounded by predominantly Asian bodies all the time and started to get a messed up reality of my own body and what was “normal”…I started to lose weight very quickly in the first year I was there…I moved there in May and by Christmas I had developed some kind of intestinal infection or something and was not able to keep anything in. It got to the point that people were telling me I was getting too skinny but it didn’t look that way to me…finally when I got to the point that my body wouldn’t even let me keep water in…I was dehydrated and my body was so stressed I was emotional as well as weak…I finally went to the doctor and he prescribed some anti-biotics to clear up the infection. I remember the day, it was Christmas and I had taught a couple classes in the morning. The cleaning staff manager, who I liked quite a bit, looked at me and said, “ok, it’s time now, you can’t wait any longer, you MUST go to the doctor, you are too skinny and sick”…I didn’t want to believe that I had lost control of my self…but as soon as I started with the medicine, I began to feel better.

Over the next couple years I was still very skinny. It was the fist time in my life that I was a size 2 or zero…clothes fit me, I enjoyed seeing the smallness of my frame, I didn’t have to wear a bra if I didn’t want to…and for a girl who always did, this was a big deal!! When I looked in the mirror all I saw was my shell. All I saw was my physical body, this casing that I had created, and I made it mean everything about ME….did you get that? I will repeat it just in case….when I looked in the mirror, all I saw was this housing, this body, this casing on the outside and I made it represent everything about me and who I was. Whew, that’s pretty big, isn’t it? I completely disregarded my person, my soul, what I had to offer in the world became only how I looked and everything hung on this physical shell of a person.

Wow.

So, when I got back to North America, and I was again around a multi-culture of people, the size of my body started to show up more to me…at first I was still very attached to this image of my shell in the mirror. I didn’t want to listen to people when they said I was too thin…I chalked it up to people being unhealthy and careless with the food they eat and the exercise they did. I “knew” I was right and that I was healthy. Over the next few years, I started to gain a little bit of weight back…slowly. As I began gaining the weight, people would say how good I looked, that I was too skinny before, and how my body was looking healthier now. I would thank them, agree that I felt better, but inside I didn’t like this weight gain. I would still look at myself in the mirror and obsess over how my shorts used to fit and how I would not let myself go back to how I was before.

Through this time, I (as I have learned and discovered) shut myself off to love. Love of myself and therefore love of others. I was too ashamed to have anyone get to know me too well because I was too concerned that I had to look a certain way to be loved and if I did not then well I wouldn’t be loved. Geeze, what a belief!! I would go to visit teacher training and see people I don’t see very often and inevitably the topic of my weight and body would come up. I would always feel defensive when people would say I gained weight and I would feel like I was now well on my way to being fat…yup, fat. I held on so tight to the past and how I was that I had no concept of being happy with the way I looked at any given time because I was only comparing myself to what I looked like before…and before was, in my mind, the ultimate body-it was the body that propelled me into the top champions circle of the yoga competitions, it was the body that fit into clothes at any store, it was the body that could do yoga postures inside and out…but it was just a body, just a shell…and now it was only something that was in the past and this new shell I had was not as good as the old one, and in my mind everyone knew it. So, I felt ashamed. Yup, I felt ashamed that I could not maintain the body of the past, I was not strong enough of mind and character to eat less and do more to keep that body.

Seriously, ASHAMED?? wow.

OK…so, listen…there are always people in the world who now comment on my body. That is the pattern that has been created…I have relied on my body and how I look in my life for so many years now. I spent so many hours and years being in a spotlight using my body that it became the biggest part of me. When I stopped competing in 2009, I knew that it was time for me to use what I had learned and what I had come to gain to share with other people. I started working on my whole self…opening my heart back up to love not only other people but to love myself…I have learned that through loving myself, my whole self, that loving other people is easy.

When I look at myself in the mirror now I don’t only see my physical body. I see who I am as a whole. I see where I have been and where I am going. I see my light and my glow. I am not going to lie and say that I don’t have days when I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see…but on those days I ask myself why. What is it that I am comparing myself to that makes me believe something different? There is always going to be someone who we think has a nicer house or better hair or more money and better postures/kids/clothes/smile/compassion/jokes…etc…but for me now all I have to do is remember the truth. The truth is that, as I wrote yesterday, we are all one. We are all sparked from the same energy source so what we see is what we reflect. So when I look in the mirror I see my whole self just as I see my whole self in your whole self. Nothing exists unless I say it exists and my vision is a reflection and projection of my doing…so I get to create anything and everything. Period.

So, yogis…what do YOU see when you look in the mirror…?

Happy gazing…
Love,
Ida


Some Things Take Time…

Hello Puppies…happy summer! YAY…seriously, I can’t say anything more than that…YAY…I’ve only been back in Victoria for a little over a week and already I was so over the weather!!! I am, as many of you I’m sure, SOOOOOO connected to the sun and the weather…especially when my brain tells me it’s summer and supposed to be sunny and warm and my body still feels cold from the actual weather. So, that being said, today is day TWO in a row of wearing less clothes and feeling warm!! whew 😉

I have been working on a post for the past few days but haven’t finished it or been ready to post it yet. It’s about weight, body image, size, fluctuation, acceptance…and my own journey over the years.

It’s a big one!!

Every day I think about my body and how I view my body and how I view myself in relation to my image…I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about. I’m not sure if men feel the same way as women do (and of course not all women are the same, but in my experience as a woman and talking with other women, there is a common thread amongst us…), but I am sure that men have some kind of attachment to how they look and what it says about them. Everyday I look at myself in the mirror and have to make the choice to love what I see…I always am aware not to make a judgement on myself based on comparison of how I used to look or what my body used to be like. That is the biggest thing, isn’t it? Not living in the past and holding onto the past as though THAT was any better (or worse) than THIS.

If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years (who am I kidding…ONE THING????!!!! ha!) it’s that every body is different and never compare one to another as being better or worse…so, that being said, just because I looked a certain way before does not mean that the way I look now is any better or any worse…get where I’m going here? I have learned so much about myself through the practice of yoga and through my experience with food and lifestyle. I have gone through the gamut of eating and drinking and doing whatever I like when I like as well as being so over the top controlled about everything I did from food to sleep to yoga to when and where I went….sheesh, sounds exhausting, doesn’t it??!

So, here the deal…every day is a choice. A choice for you for how you want to be and how you want to feel and how you want to live in this life and in this world. You have the choice. If you make a choice that you don’t like then you get to make a different choice…but as long as you know that you have the choice then anything and everything you do is good and perfect and exactly the right thing.

Period.

Lifestyle, seasons, relationships, stress, hormones, age…these things are all a factor in what is happening in your body-physically and physiologically. Sometimes things will happen in your body that are out of your control (just wait, if it’s not happened to you yet, til you get a bit older and your hormones take over!!), and sometimes it is a direct relationship to your lifestyle (extra glass of wine here and there or a handful of this or that everyday can add up!). Again, you have the choice, you make the choice and as long as you know that, then you are in control of your own destiny….

I have so much more to say about this…about my own experience and path over the past years…but it’s not getting posted just now. I’m still working on it…just figuring out exactly what I have to share with you ;). It’s important to me because it’s been a HUUUUUUGE lesson for me, so I want to make sure I am saying what I feel I want to say.

For now, it’s time to go sit in the sun and soak up my vitamin D for the day.

Love yourself…I love you.
Ida xx