How Yoga Has Helped Me To Stop Stuffing My Face and Love My Body.

How Yoga Has Helped Me To Stop Stuffing My Face and Love My Body.

Posted · 11 Comments

Yoga, Meditation, The Whole Daily

I’m back on the yoga mat again after about 6 months.

And not just once a week like I used to be.  I’m now getting my yoga on daily, something I have never done before.

I’d been feeling more and more pain in my lower back, more weakness in my abdomen and less strength in my every day movements.   After X rays and scans it’s been found that I have some early osteo (genetic), also scoliosis (curved spine) and one leg longer than the other.  I know right?

Two caesarians in the last 3 1/2 years, the subsequent unconscious tummy protection that I had been doing for at least 3 months after both of these by bending from my back and not my hips, plus the carrying of my two babes on the same hip for this long meant that I had an easy choice to make in regards to my body health.

I have been kicked back into the yoga studio by an amazing physio who saw that I could probably do with some reconnecting with my monkey mind as well as by body.

After four weeks of daily practice, either an hour in a power flow room or 30 mins at home, depending on whether I can get the space from a travelling husband and tearaway kids, I feel lighter, more connected to myself and strengthened in both mind and body.  

I used to think that those that spent so much time focusing on themselves in the floor to ceiling mirrors were a little bit narcissistic.

Then I began to do it to get my postures as correct as possible, for I’ve decided that if I want to heal then I better dedicate myself to improvement.  After three weeks of looking at myself touching my body, moving and flowing, I’m forming a relationship with my body that didn’t exist before.

It’s like I almost envision it as a separate entity to me and am showing it all of the love and care that I can.  I feel a deeper respect for my body as it struggles to move on one side as deeply as the other.  This body which wobbles on one ankle more than the other and which drips sweat to keep me cool while I move.  Aaahhh, I am experiencing a gratitude for this body that I didn’t have before.

“In the light of awareness, everything becomes sacred.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

The way I eat is changing also.  I battled with an eating disorder at 16 years old and now focus on eating the right types of food but still sometimes stuffs my face with raw chocolate or nut cakes when I get frustrated or feel anxious, to the point of feeling bloated and gross.

I don’t know what the shift is.  But when I am satiated, I stop.  When I’m not hungry, I’m not eating.  When in the past I would feel failure at eating an italian donut and then gorge the rest of the day, I can now have my cake and then cruise along with my healthy choices at the next meal.  

I wasn’t content to just imagine this was myself who was feeling such a big difference within myself when it came to food and yoga.  I went and sourced some information that came from research from Deakin University, Australia on the effects that yoga can have on binge eating and body image.  The results didn’t surprise me as I had been feeling them myself, though it’s always nice to see it noted so clearly.  Perhaps these results may inspire you.

The study, conducted by researchers at Deakin University in Australia, found that yoga can help obese women who struggle with binge eating.  The 12-week yoga program included postures, breathing, relaxation, and meditation. All of the practices emphasised mindfulness, or non-judgmental awareness and acceptance of thoughts, sensations, and emotions. The women attended one 60-minute yoga class per week and were encouraged to practice at home for 30 minutes a day.

By the end of the 12-week program, the women reported less binge-eating, higher self-esteem, and a more positive body image. The group also showed statistically significant decreases in BMI as well as hip and waist measurements.

After only one month of practice, to feel such immense change and to bear witness to my shifting body which can already create movement in areas I found impossible a month ago, I can only imagine what one year of practice could bring.  I have decided to dedicate myself to 365 days of yoga.  Whether it be an hour and a half power session or a 10 minute flow of salute to the sun, I want to know what is possible for me and I have a choice to do that.

If I have to do it in jeans, in public or in the middle of the night.  I am taking this opportunity.  I feel more adventurous and free already.

I want you to feel this too and I know from experience that we are all pupils in different ways.

Do you yoga?  What does it bring into your life?  Have you had any of the same experiences as me?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  

 


 

How Yoga Has Helped Me To Stop Stuffing My Face and Love My Body. was last modified: October 31st, 2014 by Alice Nicholls
  • Jos

    I love this post. I am also back in love with yoga and am practising every day. I used to be totally committed but found 4 yrs ago after terrible sadness (my brother committed suicide and my mother fell into deep depression to then die early this year the poor love) I just couldn’t practise. It took me somewhere I didn’t want to be and loathed being there. It made me feel edgy and restless and help-less and sad. I guess that was how i was feeling for the past four years anyway and the yoga heightened it rather than gave me solace. Since my wee mum died in Feb I have returned to yoga and it gives me such bliss. When I go to a studio it’s my happy place and when I don’t I practise at home and I feel gentle, supple and alive. It has such power when practised with gratitude and humbleness. I too am on an every day commitment and am loving it.

  • Nards Felsch

    Absolutely!
    What started many years ago as resistance to the practice (AKA myself) is now joyfully and gratefully practiced with love.
    A bonafied gym junkie, this is an enormous shift and the centring qualities are infinite!

  • Lisa

    I loved the self love letters, and I love this 365 yoga commitment, wouldn’t it be great to get an email every day for 365 days with a new yoga pose to try together with some information of its benefits?! You can always do ONE right, and in my experience one often leads to more. I’ve practiced yoga, mostly at home, for more than fifteen years but with a lot of, long and short, breaks. Always after a break I feel a bit of resistance because even though I know that yoga will make me feel better, it also stirs up emotions. Probably this is when I need it the most. I’m always looking for new inspiration, 365 days of yoga, I’m on!

  • Great post Alice! I agree yoga makes me feel lighter too 🙂 and definitely takes me to a happy place. I find when I practise regularly I don’t crave the sweet treats, I sleep better, breathe deeper and in general feel calmer throughout the day. Yoga totally rocks!

  • Ruth Quick

    You know when you read a post and its like it was written especially for you..? I also had a C section and separating pubis symphysis during pregnancy and I my body has never gone back to feeling as easy and aligned as it did. Its tight and nervy and wonky from baby carrying and feeding. I have been trying and resisting for a year to commit to a yoga practice.. just gonna actually do it!!! Thank you lovely Alice ox

  • Oh babe, me too! The bloody baby carrying. I swear I have a hip displacement because of it. We talk about how much weight we lose or put on but we don’t talk about the stuff you can’t see. And women seem to not mention things because for us, especially in sleep-deprived hell (oh it is) we take pain as ‘the new normal’, yet if we were wonky and in pain everyday at 18 we would be doing something about it. While one side of my body still carries a bub, I can tell the yoga is helping me place two firm feet on the ground a lot better. And I’m focused on my body. XX You inspire me Ruth. X

  • I am really sinking into such a deeper appreciation of it Simone. I just went for a run at lunchtime and got back with the realisation that I am running farther, faster and with more strength and ease than ever before too. So all of those Warrior’s are working for more than just stillness. I feel like it is changing my life in really big ways. Thank-you for your comment. XX

  • Haha. Please do not tempt me babe. I am always a little competitive, up for challenge and chomping at the bit to do new things. I’ve still kept my daily ritual though and so maybe in the future I’ll up the ante for you guys and create something we can all join in to. I love a great community feel and this sounds good. Thank-you for your loving words and kind feedback. You inspire ME. XX

  • And how much stronger does it make you when you do do old school gym or running? I went for a run at lunch and powered through it. Thanks Nards! XX

  • Aaah, I am so sorry to hear from you about your loss. Yoga gives you a space that means you have to be ready to ‘feel’ and so this can seem very painful at times. Not only is it the stillness that you try to cultivate, it is working with resistance each session, not just in the body but in the mind too and when we resist the most is emotional pain, or what we feel will be too painful to ‘feel’. rarely, if ever does it hurt as much as we imagine, but it is that step of allowing the emotion to be present and be felt, and then to slip away. I applaud your starting and now getting back into it so much. To me also that feel when I walk in the door is grand. Thanks for sharing and have a great day Jos. XX

  • Cayetana

    Hi there
    I have found this article to be super inspiring and uplifting. I am still battling a disorder as well as everything which comes along with it. Yoga is something I am trying to do more of, every morning after my breakfast as it is a great way to introduce mindfulness. However it is sometimes difficult to find self motivation and I find attending classes helps a lot too. Do you believe that yoga is just a good form of excersise as for example running?
    I am 100% on wanting to improve my yoga flow and really learn the correct moves and postures as well as try and find some self love within me.
    Thank you for such a beautifully written article. 🙂

 
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