Body Acceptance on the Yoga MatFebruary 24, 2022
We’ve been through a lot, haven’t we?
You’re still here, and I’m so thankful. Thank you for holding on through the darkness. Thank you for fighting, fighting, fighting. Thank you for breathing and being and allowing me to be in the world. Thank you for working with my soul to help me find the answer. Thank you for not giving up on me, even when I didn’t want you.
I’m sorry for the times I wanted you to go away. I’m sorry for punishing you, hating you, disrespecting you, degrading you. I’m sorry I ever had one bad thought about you.
I’m sorry I didn’t see the truth for so long. I know now – you’re amazing and strong and you’re there for me. You’re with me.
We’re in this together and we’ll do this together. I’m so grateful to have the best partner on this journey with so much more goodness ahead of us.
I bow to the power of your wisdom that is beyond comprehension and I will listen to you, I promise.
YOGA FOR HOPE AND HEALING
I have found that putting my body and mind back together after illness and injury to be a profound journey.
Separating from my body, wanting to disown my body and disordered eating were side effects of trying to heal from moderate-to-severe brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and incomplete cervical spinal cord injury.
It has been a decade-long journey to build-back, to bring my body back into my sphere of loving kindness. And yoga has been key to helping me do so.
On my yoga mat, I slowly started to learn that my body is not against me, it is not separate from me, and it definitely does not want to be disowned or punished, through negative thoughts, food, or otherwise.
In my yoga practice, I learned over time to apply micro-doses of compassion and curiosity, choice and kindness towards my body. These practices helped me embrace my body and bring it with me, to see that we are in this together, we’re a team.
As a result, I started to build pathways of kindness towards my body, every shape and every intentional breath on the mat guiding the way to rebuilding my new identity, one based on self-kindness, grace, and complete understanding that this body is working for me every single moment…allowing me to make choices that support my body.
I now share the power of yoga for hope and healing as the founder of Gentle Yoga International. We are changing the narrative about yoga and building awareness that by its very nature yoga includes everyone. We empower people to not only find movement that works for them but to also strengthen the muscles of self-care and self-love, to find their own power within their story, and to connect in community.
I am proud that we are community partners with NEDA, raising awareness and walking towards a world without eating disorders. NEDA’s helpline supported over 60 000 people last year – if you or someone you know is in need of support, they have online chat, texting, and calling. Support and hope are available. Information on how to reach out is at: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline
Angie Davis is the founder of Gentle Yoga International, an online global community of beautiful souls nourishing their own body acceptance through their very human experiences. She is a coach, international yoga and meditation teacher, and writer. She is a contributing author to Anxiety Warrior II and her writing has been featured with the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and on OmStars. She is passionate about relieving suffering in the world and supporting those who’ve experienced grief, loss, trauma, injury, and illness find their way back home to self love. She’d love to connect with you – find her online at angiedavis.ca and on Instagram @angiedavis.ca.