Celebrate The


I work with so many people who eventually say their practice of yoga brought feelings of self-worth that had nothing to do with physical appearance—and that’s great. On the other hand, they had not completely made peace with themselves and their body.

The process starts by appreciating your body for what it can do, rather than how it looks. Then, making peace with the physical reality so that you can fully enjoy your body without having to hide it.

How do you do it? The first step is to focus on function. Focus more on what your body can do than how it looks. By doing so, you free yourself from the opinions of others. At the same time, you discover a treasure trove of qualities that can’t be tarnished by age: energy, sensuality, confidence, vibrancy, capabilities, and skills—all of which have their own allure. Train yourself to see the functioning of your body for the miracle it is, and take pride and pleasure in the sum of who you are.

Here’s an exercise to try at home to help let go of impossible ideas and the shame of not measuring up…

Exercise: Get real, and get rid of any shame of not measuring up.

Write down five things you like about your body. These can be functional or aesthetic. Then write down five things you value about yourself as a person. These can include skills, abilities, talents, qualities, or accomplishments. Do you find it hard to identify positive things about yourself? Read this list aloud to your partner or to a friend.

Instead of passing judgment to the negative, start acknowledging the positive!