*warning! please read with an open mind and an open heart. I wrote this piece beginning of July 2018 as we arrived back from a holiday in Greece. Our Lila-Lit gathering had touched on the subject very briefly. But a holiday abroad watching women pained by the sight of their own bodies and low in confidence got me thinking. I honestly offer this post with much love*
Keira and I each have an Instagram account. I post way more often, so we both agreed (well, I sort of insisted and did it anyway…) that mine should represent us both and help spread the message we want to share.
So I manage and post all the photos to @lilavati_yoga and choose all the photos and the majority of the words.
We teach yoga and Yoga (little ‘y’ and big ‘y’ are intentional here!) to share the medicine of this mindful movement.
Yoga saved us. Heart, body and soul.
And we hope to help heal others too; it may be just one word, one touch, one sequence gesture or a small sentence that picks someone up and puts them back on the path of intention.
Both of us are naturally very shy; we used to feel of little worth and would never dream of standing up in a group of people, let alone sharing the rhythms we play with in our own space to entice this moving meditation.
But we know that social media plays a large part in sharing; namely in that it reaches out to people that we can not physically touch. We moved a couple of hundred miles and it’s a great portal for keeping connected across that distance. Plus, we are so inspired by so many others across the globe, that Instagram (particularly) can be a blessing.
Our intention for the shared handle @lilavati_yoga has always been these elements:
Sharing (though we need to work on this a little more)
How to live yoga beyond the edges of the mat
We both strongly believe in sharing (and tagging):
Our ‘Happiness Prescription’; daily or weekly doses of bliss that should take the pain away and numb the noise; so you can live happier, wholly and be complete
The necessity to visualise and create WHATEVER dreams you wish to inspire ‘breathe believe receive’
That mindful movement is necessary for all; no matter where you are, how much money or time you have and how much faith you have
That everyone should feel able to love themselves AS THEY ARE in the here, the now and to enjoy life, regardless of what judgments and labels you apply to your life ‘All the parts’ ‘All the pieces’
Having said all this, there is something I feel I must point out.
That for all our prompts of authenticity and our hope to inspire love of self, no matter your size, shape, background, financial status, your ‘whatever’……I almost never post photos of myself on our page. You’ll see many of Keira and other nature-inspired shares.
There are a few main reasons for this; first, most of the photos are taken by me as I really enjoy capturing these moments to share, second, Keira effortlessly finds the shape that most encourages the intention of nature (she literally falls into shape without thinking about it and captures the moment perfectly) and lastly, because the pictures of me don’t hold the sacred messages; in that, I don’t believe them to be inspirational.
And it pains me to write this; because you may think I’m a farce, and I really am not. But, I am just not Instagram worthy enough. You see, I’m curvy in all the wrong places (!) and I can’t create a line that will inspire you to see a shape or a form, other than curviness. Or rather chunkiness.
How wrong is that?!!! And the funny thing is, Keira is pretty much the same. If she were managing it, she would post pictures of me, rather than of herself.
And here is the point (stay with me here, please….); I could not and do not give two hoots about other people’s bodies. I very rarely have ever commented on someone else’s body in a negative way (I shan’t say ever, because I’m sure my sister and I have called eachother some pretty horrendous names when we were younger and a little fierier!!!). I think we are all gloriously beautiful. And I know looks are so unimportant; really, I do. I couldn’t care less; I embrace the uniqueness of each of us. And I genuinely do not judge others based on the external (we shouldn’t judge full stop, but I still have much practicing to do).
Yet I am super harsh on myself. My inner critic rears her ugly head even if I happen to look at my hand. Can you imagine what she has to say when I practice by a mirror?
It’s tricky. And it’s a problem that I’m working through at present. It’s a huge part of my teachings right now; how to make everyone appreciate the beauty and divinity of their life. To recognise that the body is the vessel for this heart-achingly stunning journey called life.
It’s a tonic we all need to share.
To recognise the beauty.
Not let our definitions of beauty be determined by the images that are forced onto us by the societal beliefs (or companies hoping to sell us ‘stuff’).
The authenticity of not sharing pictures of myself lies in that; truth. Because why on earth would I post a photo that I consider anything other than ‘beauty and nature and lines of