In our culture full of “fitspiration” that more often incites jealousy rather than inspiration, it can be hard to practice self-love. We reached out to some of our favorite yoga instructors to see what they had to say about self-love, self confidence, compassion, and acceptance.
“No matter what – you are worth it. You matter. Every child was placed on earth with intention. Never believe the lie that you are not good enough or unworthy. Just put in the work to achieve your dreams and you will. Turn over everything and surrender … Control can be the enemy of our soul. Allow yourself to be guided, allow yourself to be loved, and just let go.”
“We live in a society where so much emphasis is placed on numbers. The numbers in our bank accounts, the numbers on our scales, the numbers of friends we have. When we place too much value on the numbers in our lives it is easy to feel discouraged and unworthy.
My practice has been feeling heavy lately, so out of curiosity I stepped on the scale for the first time in a couple of months.
Even when I considered myself “overweight” I never weighed this much. Ever.
Once the shock wore off I began to laugh at myself. Why do I care so much about my weight? Does weighing a few pounds more or less have any effect on my worth as a person? Does a number on the scale mean I am beautiful or not? The overwhelming answer is NO, it doesn’t.”
“Instagram can be full of inspiration. and it can also be full of shame. And guilt. And not-good-enoughs. And if-onlys. And I’ll-nevers. We’re all a part of this big social media washing machine full of half cool shit and half just shit shit. Tumbling and swirling around and all up in your face, and sometimes it gets hard to tell what’s what. Life is too short to wish you had someone else’s. Your body is too full of miracles to stifle it with doubt.
Check yo’ self before you wreck yourself.”
“Balance comes from a state of mind and a reflection of life. It’s important to be balanced in your personal life to find balance in your practice. I often notice if my personal life is out of whack then my practice suffers. Or if something really bad has happened in my life, I rely that much more on my practice and practice that much harder to help overcome my personal problems. The two are inseparable for me. The better my life, the better my practice, the better my balance.
To find balance and improve your yoga practice; meditate, breathe, show love to your family and friends, be kind to strangers, enjoy the gifts you were given and be ok with the gifts you weren’t. Know that your practice changes everyday, try for the best possible but love yourself that much more if you come up short.”
“Don’t let anyone take your love away from you. Although the physical manifestation that opened your doorway might move on, don’t shut the door.
The love is yours.”
“Practice love and compassion. When people say kind and loving words to you, promise not to deflect them. You are magical and deserve to be celebrated. Meditate at the ocean. Remember that each human you see throughout your day or online is REAL. Jealousy doesn’t serve me or anyone. We create stories about people when most of the time we do not know their reality. Label less, love more”
“I never felt pretty, let alone beautiful when I was a little girl. I felt like the odd one out, the ugly duckling. People told me I was too short, my legs too big, my face was too flat to be attractive. When I started practicing yoga I began seeing beauty all around me. The trees, the flowers, the sunsets all seemed to glow with a divine light. Then I started seeing beauty beyond physical form expressed in compassion, kindness, forgiveness and love. Finally one day I looked in the mirror and saw beauty within myself, physically yes, but more like I saw the light in my heart shining in all its splendor and I recognized the beauty and purity of my inner and truest self.
…See the beauty and grace in the world around you. Recognize it and appreciate it. Then see the beauty within yourself. Find at least one physical or inner quality that shines with inner light. …Far beyond a perfect physique the beauty of the yogi is in the wisdom of the heart, burning with courage and compassion, living a life of inner peace. There is a place of true beauty within each of us, a place of timeless, transcendent grace. It is through the practice of yoga that you discover the true beauty of your spirit and get the courage to let your true self shine freely, boldly and powerfully in the world. Go out today and shine bright.”
“Love isn’t about holding on. It’s about holding up, supporting, connecting. It’s about pouring into each other even when moving in different directions. Learning to stay connected with soft hands, open hearts, firm feet, and active energy. It’s about raising the ground up so your partner can fly, being a stable foundation for countless possibilities to grow. It’s about making shapes, finding flow, and accepting the fact that both may make mistakes during the process. It’s about commitment, dedication, and vulnerability. It’s about knowing when to let go and remaining supportive in other ways.
It’s about transforming YOU and I into WE and US. Love ain’t always easy– it can be downright hard– but it should never take away, no matter how much you give.”
“I am very surprised to see people uptight about me practicing in mini shorts and a sports bra… It is nothing but inspiring and liberating to see women expressing themselves comfortably. I am proud of these women and can only hope that those who don’t feel comfortable with seeing the human body in its most natural form will one day find peace in their hearts, minds, and spirits.”
“The more you practice, the more yoga becomes about strength of mind, having the strength to stay focused, not tie yourself to the expectation of what you did yesterday, or what your goal is for tomorrow. Yoga is all about the true connection to the self, sometimes strength comes up because that is what is needed, but other times compassion or patience is needed. I truly believe a consistent yoga practice will strengthen the elements of the self that are needed to navigate the paths that we walk.”