I’ve been practicing yoga consistently for 4 years. I’ve been teaching yoga for a year. I love yoga. I consider myself a lifetime student of yoga. And I have some confessions to make.
I don’t have a flat stomach. I can’t do crazy arm balances or a handstand. I’m technically overweight and have adult acne that flares up occasionally. I read books about spiritualism and how to find joy, but I also watch hours upon hours of old episodes of “Jersey Shore” on Hulu in one sitting. I am slightly addicted to social media but don’t want to be. I still get road rage and yell at the people in front of me when I get cut off or someone is driving too slow. I try to eat healthy most of the time, but I also can eat half a pint of ice cream without thinking twice. My favorite food isn’t avocado, kale, or almonds, but chocolate, cake, and chips and queso. I have a sweet tooth. I’ve mostly quit my caffeine habit but will still get a large Coke Zero from Sonic somedays.
I enjoy reading the classics like Austen or Fitzgerald, but I also read trashy romance novels and am a sucker for a good young adult novel starring a fierce heroine. I love the Planet Earth documentaries, but I can also quote most of “Friends”, “Parks & Rec”, and “30 Rock”. I listen to ambient and beautiful music when I meditate, but I can also rap all of Ludacris’s “Stand Up”. I have a weakness for silly pop music and driving with the windows down. I love a good dance party. I adore Beyonce probably too much.
I can tell my clients and students to practice deep breathing when their anxiety gets too high, but I don’t always practice this when my own anxiety creeps in. I don’t get on my yoga mat or meditate every day. I don’t even always love my yoga practice; I often times dread it (but always am glad I got on the mat). Sometimes, my depression creeps in so much that it’s a struggle just to get out of bed.
I’m not perfect.
I still gossip occasionally and love to know things that are happening with others in Hollywood. I listen to NPR for my news, but am also known to read a tabloid magazine while waiting in line at the grocery store. I try to recycle and be mindful of how I can reduce my waste, but I also eat take out approximately once a week. I still don’t feel like I can cook very well, but I can bake the heck out of some cupcakes.
Despite this, I’m learning to love myself. For all my flaws and imperfections. For the extra flab of skin around my lower belly (also for my love of the word “belly”. Say it out loud. It’s just a nice fully rounded out word). For the pimples on my chin. For my broken wrists and weak upper body strength. For not being able to resist a good chai tea latte. For laughing at my own stupid jokes and dancing to music even when no one else joins me.
I’m beautiful. I’m amazing. I am full of so much joy that I want to share with the people who want it share in it with me.
Do you guys recognize this about yourself, too? Because it’s there. Tap in to that sparkly, messy, unreserved part of your heart. Quit hiding your light.
I, for one, am no longer going to apologize for how I live my life. For the choices I make. I am me, and I am perfect just the way I am. What a refreshing breath of air to take in.
I hope you’ll take the time to find the things that are special and unique to you. It’s worth it.