I receive hundreds of messages every single day.
Most of them are nice and encouraging (besides the obscene messages from men), but I occasionally get messages from women judging me for what I say, look like, or what I choose to post about. Today, I got one telling me that I don’t understand what yoga is all about because of my post about pregnancy and wanting my body back, which is funny because clearly they also don’t know what yoga “is all about.”
I want it to be very clear who I am and why I am on social media. I am not here to pretend that I am some enlightened yoga teacher that wants to change the world. I am not here telling you that I have all the answers to life and that I’m better than you. I am not here to put myself in a box and tell you what yoga should look like because I believe yoga is personal.
I am here for that woman who has stopped to read this right now, who feels like no one understand her and feels like she is too old to start working on herself. I am here for that woman that sees how far I’ve come and is inspired to make changes in her life because she never really felt she could do it before she saw my account. I am here for that mom that hates the way her stomach looks and beats herself up every time she looks in the mirror but is inspired to try Yoga & Pilates to feel like herself again.
That is why I am here. I am here to say that I’ve been there too and you are not alone.
Yoga is not about weight loss, but it is 100% ok if you want to use it for weight loss.
Yoga is not about what your body looks like, but it is 100% ok if you care about what your body looks like.
Yoga is not about how strong you are or if you can do a handstand, but it is 100% ok if that is all you care about.
Yoga is not Pilates, but it is 100% ok if you want to do both … and yes, even blend them!
My yoga and Pilates journey started a year before I had my first son. I decided I needed to do something about my health and began teaching fitness classes to inspire me to change. I lost 40 pounds and I felt empowered for the first time in my life. When I found out I was pregnant, I was worried I’d lose everything I had overcome but I continued to teach up until 40 weeks pregnant.
After baby, I resumed training again and started to lose the weight that I had gained but 6 months after he was born, I got pregnant again! I fell into a depression because I felt like I had just started to love my body and now I’d never “get my body back” … or at least that is what I thought.
I was going through a rough time with my husband, living in Maryland where I had no support, and all I had was the gym. The only thing up until that point in my life that gave me any feeling of control was transforming my body but here I was pregnant again. I continued to teach but I just felt like it was going to be too hard to get back to where I was.
My entire life I had hated my body. In my mind, I was ugly and unlovable. I couldn’t even do one push up before I found fitness and I had pain all over my body from a later diagnosed condition called Fibromyalgia (which brings along its own stigma).
6 months after my second son was born, we moved to Florida – the land of tank tops, shorts, and bathing suits. I hated my body. I cringed anytime I had to be around people in a bathing suit. I still hadn’t lost the weight I gained, and I didn’t want to teach fitness classes out of fear of judgement, but I knew that helping others was the key to helping myself.
I decided to start teaching again even though I looked and felt my worse. Huffing and puffing I struggled along with my class while we -as a team- practiced yoga and Pilates. In just a few months after deciding to go back to work teaching, I was feeling amazing and so happy that I have this amazing career that helps me as much as it helps others.
Loving who I am has been a journey. I don’t always look in the mirror and love what I look like. Other times I feel like a superstar and I can’t believe I can do the things that I do. I don’t believe, however, we as women should shame other women… ever. I understand why women show too much skin on social media. I don’t always agree with their choices, but I’d never shame them. I certainly wouldn’t ever tell someone I’ve never met on social media that they shouldn’t post what they want.
For those women that want to shame me, I’m not interested.
I think that social media can be a great place to share and help others, but it also has an ugly side. For someone like me, the ugly side often makes me regret putting my heart and emotions out there for all to see but at the end of the day, I’m here for those women who want to feel better (and yes look better) about themselves.
I am here for those that resonate with my message that you are never too old or too broken to change your life.