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Self-Confidence & Body Appreciation: Embracing Every Curve and Edge

Today, I was all set to discuss this month's theme when an unexpected challenge arose. I had been thinking about all the encouraging ideas I wanted to share with you. My intention was to share insights on self-confidence—a trait I am continuously nurturing—and body appreciation. All I needed to do was translate my thoughts onto paper, but something unusual happened.

Out of all days, today I caught myself for the first time looking at these photos taken earlier in the day by a friend who had been generous with compliments about my appearance yet there I was scrutinizing my aspect. I had felt wonderful accepting her praises, as it felt like a reflection of the inner peace I experienced after starting my day with a restorative routine: sipping clay water, brushing my feet (yes, the feet—try it, it's rejuvenating!), followed by a serene beach walk and meditation. I felt aligned and at ease, yet my initial reaction to the photographs was the complete opposite. Suddenly, I was fixating on every imperfection with profound discomfort. The body and face in the photos felt foreign to me.

This reaction led me to question deeply about our bodies and their ever-changing nature as we age. Have you ever experienced that startling moment when you barely recognize yourself in the mirror? Ironically, my moment came just the day that I set out to write about self-confidence and body appreciation. Today, faced with my own judgments and discomfort, I found myself confronting the very issues I hoped to discuss with lightness and encouragement, yet I find it a challenge.

What drives us into these moments of intense self-criticism? What sparks such severe personal judgments? One moment you're enjoying life, and the next, you're scrutinizing a photo, focusing on everything you perceive as flawed.

It took me some time, but I reminded myself that true body appreciation isn't confined to celebrating bodies that fit a certain mould or applauding any particular size. Rather, it's about loving and respecting the body you currently occupy, appreciating it for its support and the life it allows you to lead, regardless of its shape or size.

I took this time to hold myself. To hug myself and to remind myself of all the reasons I actually love and appreciate my body rather than looking for the reasons I dont like. This insight, connected with my yoga journey, reminded me how the yoga practice has continuously moulded my perception and appreciation of myself. I started with the intention to get the body stronger and more flexible to soon learn all the different benefits for the mind. Each session offered a chance to deepen and nurture a more loving relationship with my body and with myself.

As I walked myself home in the dark along the beach I appreciated my feet for feeling the warmth of the water, I appreciated my legs that walked me safely home, I appreciated the skin on my face that was being caressed by the wind, I appreciated the ability to hear the crashing of the waves that surrounded me. In moments like this, I remember how grateful I am towards this body that is there for me through this journey called life!

Thus, this month, let's embrace self-confidence and body appreciation not just as goals to be achieved, but as ongoing processes. Let every line, curve, and ledge serve as a tribute to our individual stories. Let’s cultivate gratitude for our bodies, appreciating them not only for their appearance but for their function: allowing us to breathe, move, feel, and stay present.
Each time you step onto your mat, I encourage you to explore what makes you uniquely beautiful, both inside and out.

Remember, the journey of self-love begins the moment you decide to view yourself with the same compassion and love that you extend to others.

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