What's This Blog All About Then?

I'm on a mission to roadtest ways of overcoming negative body image. For years I have struggled with feeling I don't look 'good enough', I'm too fat or flabby. Even when I was a UK Size 8! During each of my two pregnancies I fell back in love with my body, marvelling at the amazing things it was doing and at my feminine voluptuousness.

Now that my most recent baby has been outside of my body for a while, the mum tum and stretchmarks are starting to bug me. I have decided enough is enough. I want to feel proud of my body like I did when I was pregnant. I don't want to wait until I'm a certain weight or dress size to feel good about the way I look. I want to love my body just the way it is right now. And I want to help other women to love their imperfectly perfect bodies too.

Join me on my quest for a better body image. During my journey to (I hope) total body confidence, I'll be posting useful resources, tips and research on body image and self acceptance. There will also be posts from other people shedding light on how to feel comfortable in the skin you're in - maybe you'd like to send me an article? Contact me at annacolette(at)gmail(dot)com with 'Body Image' in the title.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Day 3 of The Yoga Cure Experiment

I'm really enjoying the Basic Yoga DVD. Day 3 of my yoga cure experiment and I'm amazed that so far I've wanted to do the full 'Daily Dozen' outlined in the DVD:

1. Cat
2. Mountain
3. Standing forward bend
4. Lunge
5. Tree
6. Standing side stretch
7. Downward facing dog
8. Cobra
9. Child's pose
10. Seated spinal twist
11. Seated forward bend
12. Relaxation pose (corpse)

I jotted down the poses yesterday while following the DVD so I tried them myself without the DVD today and it took 35 minutes. I didn't rush through them at all. In fact, I did extra breathing cycles (the DVD recommends six per posture).

I need to find some kind of moderation to The Lunge posture though - it really hurts my knee even with a cushion underneath it. Shame, as they show modifications for some of the other postures.

While I'm doing the yoga, I feel calm and connected to my body. I'm also impressed at how my body is responding - I can already stretch my heels much closer to the floor in Downward Dog and am finding the Seated Forward Bend easier too.

In some of the postures I'm thinking 'how does my body feel? How can I work with it to stretch a little more but not push it too hard?'. It feels as if I'm learning to work with my body and respect it's needs and limitations. At least for the half hour or so that I'm doing the yoga. I wonder if this attitude will carry over into the rest of my day at some point? Hope so.

I can vouch for the claim that yoga promotes inner stillness. Focusing on small actions and specific parts of the body somehow promotes an attitude of curiosity and inquistiveness.

I start tuning into what parts feel tight and sore (shoulders, hamstrings,buttocks) and what feels relaxed (arms, tummy, chest, mind. I'm finding my body interesting. I'm learning what it feels like, where it needs to unravel, where I need to let go.

It's a relief to give up the urge to 'whip myself into shape' as if there's something bad about me, something flawed that my flab is a manifestation of. To move from that subtle self hatred into an attitude of self care - exercising because it feels good in my body and my mind - is life-affirming and surely a boon to my self esteem.

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