Radiating Inner Awesome – Meet Amanda StuermerNovember 13, 2014
The Yoga and Body Image Coalition is committed to building conscious community and highlighting the work that inspiring yogis are doing in their local communities and beyond. We’re pleased to introduce you to a member of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition’s advisory board, the sassy and fierce Amanda Stuermer.
What does “healthy body image” mean to you?
It’s that field out beyond judgement, shame, comparison, and airbrushing – I’ll meet you there.
What is yoga’s impact on your body image?
My yoga practice has taught me self-awareness and self-compassion. They say your yoga mat is your mirror. I had a pretty dysfunctional relationship with real mirrors for most of my life. The image I saw reflected in them never lived up to my expectations. I was too fat, too short, too ugly, too awkward, too too many things. Yoga gave me a new kind of mirror. I started to see my body from the inside out.
To be honest, my ego gets really pissed off about that sometimes. That is when the self-compassion comes in. It’s practice. I don’t get it perfect every time. I sometimes spend savasana wishing I was thinner, stronger, more flexible, or looked cuter in yoga pants. And then, I return to my practice of self-awareness and self-compassion again.
This practice never ends, it just evolves. Slowly the awareness leads to compassion, which leads to acceptance, which leads to gratitude, which ultimately leads to love. I can honestly say I love my middle-aged yoga body (most days). It has taken me 46 years to get to the point where I can say that. The practice continues.
How does your work address body image issues?
I founded World Muse because I have a daughter and I want her to grow up with a self-image rather than a body-image. I want her to dream about what type of person she wants to be, not what body type she wants to have. All of our programs at World Muse are designed to help women and girls see themselves from the inside out rather than the outside in.
We utilize mindfulness to cultivate self-awareness, creativity to encourage self-expression, and activism to develop greater self-worth. We work to promote the idea of inner awesome. It is inside each and every one of us. We just have to learn how to use self-awareness to tap into it and self-expression and activism to start sharing it with the world.
We have to start seeing ourselves from the inside out rather than the outside in. When we feel good inside, we radiate that outward.
I want to promote that – radiating out our “inner awesome.”
Amanda Stuermer is a wife, mother, writer, yogi, and rebel with a cause. She has been working with non-profits that serve women and youth for nearly 20 years. She is the founder and executive director of World Muse, a social change organization that provides year-round programs and events to cultivate and activate the potential of women and girls as catalysts for change. World Muse utilizes mindfulness, creativity, and activism to promote self-expression, self-awareness, and self-worth. Inspiring women and girls to realize their inner awesome is Amanda’s life work.