I’ve been sitting with this idea all week long and it’s been a little challenging. You see, the idea of connection came to me when I sat at San Dominican University last weekend, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, to pay tribute to a special young man I had only just begun to know.
When it comes to our bodies, we as women tend to place a great deal of pressure on ourselves to achieve certain results. We deprive ourselves and push ourselves in order to whittle down, tighten up, drop dress sizes, and increase our level of attractiveness. We exalt uber-thin (sometimes, dangerously thin) bodies through images of “thinspiration.” We put these images out on social media and tell the world, “This is what I’m striving for.”
A guest post from Two Fit Moms.
Four years ago, we began sharing our love of yoga on Instagram by posting snapshots and picture tutorials of some of our favorite poses. With young kids at home, we rarely made it out to attend classes at yoga studios, but we loved to practice at home. We had a passion for connecting with others and sharing whatever we learned on our mats, so we posted photos often and helped build a virtual yoga community. We hoped to be able to reach a larger audience one day, and seeing that dream come true through our relationship with Gaiam has been a surreal experience.
Disclaimer: I’m a hardwired introvert. As a child, my solitary tendencies were so severe that they led me to avoid school events, birthday parties, and especially (gulp) team sports. Fast forward 30 years, and my reserve has eroded into a softer, more socially acceptable version. I’ve still been called “distant,” “hard-to-know,” and—one of my personal favorites—“pleasantly reserved,” but I now traverse the meandering path between poised conversationalist and social escape artist.
If you’re a fan of social media, you’re probably getting used to seeing frequent stories about people innocently posting photos of themselves, only to find that “body-shamers” have come out of the woodwork to make negative comments about their looks, their hair, their clothing choices, their weight…you name it.
When was the last time you felt really stuck? You couldn’t seem to get out a funk, let alone out of your sweatpants?
So much is written about yoga these days. People describe how it helped them through a crisis, healed an injury, made them stronger. Many are inspired to become teachers. Doctors write about yoga’s health benefits and teachers write about its philosophy, anatomical mechanics, or energetics. I am one more fan, student, and teacher, and I want to add my say.
In the past few weeks, many people have come to me requesting information on accessing their joy. They have spoken about the challenges in their lives including divorce, lay offs, financial challenges and abuse from the past. As I have contemplated their questions, I kept coming back to one thing: Joy and happiness are states of consciousness. To experience joy, we must choose to activate that state. That is not always easy, especially when it appears that we are bombarded by so much information or in the midst of a life challenge.
The busier we become, the more we steal from our “joy” time. If work demands more time and effort, chances are our gym time will suffer. When the teenager has yet another hormone tantrum, watching a movie or painting our toenails goes out the window.