What makes you feel sexy?
What makes you feel sexy?
This is a question that has been on my mind over the last two weeks. Sometimes, I will be ready to do something and ponder, hmm does this make me feel sexy?, though often it is during the act that I declare, this makes me feel sexy! Whether it is lathering my body with coconut oil after a long, hot shower, or practicing naked yoga-yes naked yoga-the thought “I feel sexy now” has been constantly in my head. This new mindset has been a welcome friend in my life, a refreshing positive voice, and has not only helped me with my inner confidence but has raised my self-worth to a new level. Thank You Sangha Soiree!
Two weeks ago, our fantastic yoga studio, Sangha Space, had an intimate soiree with the focus on tea, community, sweets, and locker room talk! Body issues, body image, beauty, society, and what makes you feel sexy, were on the agenda. When I saw this itinerary, I was excited because these are all things I have become passionate about, not only in my personal life, but professionally with my students and colleagues. The immense majority of people in the world suffer with self-esteem and body image issues. It is heartbreaking, especially, when I hear 7 year old girls tell me they want to diet because they want to look like Selena Gomez or some other pop star. I feel it is an uphill battle; encouraging our youth, our family, our friends, and ourselves, to love and accept our body as the beautiful gift it is. I’d love to say being surrounded by positive, uplifting, self-esteem boosting loved ones help this negative demon, but I know from personal experience that is not always true.
My childhood and adulthood actually, were full of positivity and praise. I always heard compliments and uplifting words about my body and soul. I was never put-down, nor berated, yet I always did it to myself. Looking back, if I had to pick a moment which altered the way I viewed myself in such a negative way, I could blame it on one particular male, but that is not fair to him. The exes in our lives are exes for a reason, but to know some word, or statement could have such a powerful impact on our perception is alarming. A majority of my life was full of self-hating thoughts and feelings, negative words I would torment myself with. Yet this was not learned behavior. It was a habit. It took a devastating experience in my life, to help me begin to change my mindset. This tragedy helped me learn to be kind to myself, to love my body, and to treat myself with unconditional love and kindness. But to be able to think and celebrate my sexiness is wonderful, new unexpected gift. Though our soiree was the catalyst, I know with all my heart and soul that Yoga was the vehicle to allow this in my world.
I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years. Though it has only been in the last five years, that I have become a yogi. Dealing with infertility, yoga was the only thing that made me feel good. Though, I never imagined, it would allow me to love and accept my body. Through the years, and especially at Sangha, practicing yoga has been a treasured gift. Slowly, and ever so quietly, practicing yoga allowed me to love my body, no matter what the shape or condition it was in. It started to be about how I felt internally, without any cares of how I looked externally. I loved being around like-minded beautiful yogis, without the need to compare them to myself, like how I would in the past. I started forgiving my body for not being able to do certain poses, as opposed to being angry at it. I began thinking I look sexy, I feel sexy, I am sexy. I didn’t realize I was doing this until recently, but I was.
What is sexy? Sexy is whatever makes you feel at your best, what makes you feel confident, what makes you feel loved, valued, respected, what makes you love yourself in order to be loved by anyone else. It may be a certain pose, a look, a smile, an outfit, an external condition, or an internal experience; sexy is whatever makes you feel that you are absolutely amazing! It is because of yoga, I truly believe that I can value my body, appreciate my soul, and build an intimate beautiful union between the two. It is because of my yoga practice, my Sangha Space experience and family, and my life work, that I can say I AM SEXY, I have always been and always WILL BE SEXY! I am finally the best possible version of myself, I see what others have always seen, and I can say I love myself. And with that treasured gift, I feel immense gratitude and am finally at peace.
“Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself.” ~Tyra Banks