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Honor your Body| Resolutions| Aradia Fitness Loudoun

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Honor Your Body

Honor Your Body, we have reached the beginning of a new year – a time of reflection and rebirth. This is the time that we set our intentions for the rest of the year through the making of resolutions. Unfortunately, these resolutions can sometimes be unkind toward ourselves, focusing on perceived flaws. Or they can be unrealistic – setting ourselves up for disappointment, which is also unkind. I’d like to take the month of January to discuss realistic resolutions, that come from a place of respect and compassion for ourselves and for our bodies.

Self Love

Self love is important to me, and I know that it is important to Neelam, which is one of the reasons I was drawn to Aradia as an instructor. I’m very happy that this blog series can find a home here, where people are passionate about breaking cycles and healing.

 

For our next resolution topic, I’m going to discuss how to HONOR YOUR BODY.

 

At some point in the future, we may be able to upload our consciousness to the cloud, and never have to worry about bodies again. But until then, we are stuck with them, so we might as well make the best out of the situation.

 

Our body is our vehicle, it takes us from place to place and allows us to perform tasks. It also keeps us alive, and provides pleasure through senses.* We only get one, so let’s respect it and take care of it. 

 

  • Your body is not a problem to be fixed. Thinking of it as such does a massive disservice to this wonderful creation and puts you in a negative and oppositional mindset. Your body is your partner, not the enemy. That is not to say that you shouldn’t ever work towards change – change is natural! Work towards whatever makes you happy and healthy – but work with your body, not against it. And don’t think of the end state, whatever that goal may be, as the only acceptable or worthy state. Appreciate every stage of the journey, and know that bodies are constantly in a state of change. Hour to hour, day to day, and year to year. 

 

  • Treat your body with compassion and respect, the same way you would want yourself to be treated. It’s part of you isn’t it? We can consciously develop healthy attitudes towards our body by actively thinking of the things we appreciate about our bodies – what they can do physically, the sensations they give you, the way they look. Take some time to think about those things, and mentally thank your body. Even better – treat your body while you do it. Take a nice bath, massage a sore muscle, rub in some nice lotion (we polers know how to appreciate lotion day) – whatever it means to you to treat your body to something nice. Once you are in the habit of thinking positively about your body – take it to the next level and look at it in the mirror while you do it. Appearance is often where we get the most hung up, so being able to appreciate your body while looking at it is a really big step. And being able to appreciate the way your body looks? I wish that for you, more than anything.

 

  • Take care of your body – keep it healthy and meet its needs. Part of loving something is taking care of it. Giving it fuel that makes it feel good and run well (see previous blog on intuitive eating), giving it rest that it needs to recover, keeping all the parts moving well and feeling good, keeping it clean and sanitary. I’ve come to think of these things as less of a chore and more of an act of care for something I love. And when you take the “have to” out and put the “want to” in, it becomes more enjoyable, requires less mental effort, and frees you from some stress. Which leads into my last bit of advice:

 

  • Find a way to move your body that brings you joy. Exercise should not be a punishment. That mentality will set you up for painful behavior cycles and disappointment. I don’t even call it exercise anymore, because of all the negative associations I’ve grown up with. I just call it moving my body or physical activity. It should be fun, something you want to do, a treat for yourself and your body. It should make you feel healthy, strong, and empowered. Try out everything, even if it’s new or scary, until you find the activity that does it for you. We have plenty of options right here at Aradia for you to try.

 

Progress, not perfection – and self compassion, always.

 

*I understand that disabilities and chronic illnesses affect these statements and create a more-complex-than-average relationship with bodies. I’d love to hear from people who struggle with these issues on how they handle honoring their bodies.

 

Lady Curvicorn

 

Aradia Instructor Lady Curvicorn has spent years researching self compassion and intuitive eating, and has used that experience to create a list of compassionate New Year’s Resolutions. We will be sharing her blog series with you throughout the month.

 

Intentions Making Resolutions|Aradia Fitness Loudoun| Pole Dance Studio NOVA

Intentions and Making ResolutionsAradiaFitnessLoudoun

Intentions and Making resolutions, we have reached the beginning of a new year – a time of reflection and rebirth. This is the time that we set our intentions for the rest of the year through the making of resolutions. Unfortunately, these resolutions can sometimes be unkind toward ourselves, focusing on perceived flaws. Or they can be unrealistic – setting ourselves up for disappointment, which is also unkind. I’d like to take the month of January to discuss realistic resolutions, that come from a place of respect and compassion for ourselves and for our bodies.

Self love is important to me, and I know that it is important to Neelam, which is one of the reasons I was drawn to Aradia as an instructor. I’m very happy that this blog series can find a home here, where people are passionate about breaking cycles and healing.

Intentions and making resolutions: Eat Intuitively

The second resolution I’d like to discuss is EAT INTUITIVELY. What does that mean?

“Intuitive Eating is an approach developed to help people heal from the side effects of chronic dieting. An intuitive eater is defined as a person who makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honors hunger, respects fullness, and enjoys the pleasure of eating.” – Be Nourished

I have personally suffered from eating disorders and health problems as a result of toxic diet culture, and discovering the intuitive eating movement was a life saver (literally) for me. We often make resolutions about healthy eating, but forget what healthy means. Mental and emotional health are part of our health, too, and they directly contribute to physical health. Also, wellness and diet culture promote a lot of ideas, fads, and trends about what is “healthy”, making it hard to keep up. And the information is often contradictory, or flat-out incorrect.

So I’d like to propose that you stop listening to the internet, and start listening to your body.

Intuitive Eating has 10 principles, which you can read about here. I’m going to talk about what’s worked best for me, in my own words.

Eat Only when Hungry

Learn to listen to your body. Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that it needs fuel, don’t ignore it. Conversely, wait until you are actually hungry to eat, not just because it is a scheduled meal time. This may mean that you are eating at unusual times, and that’s okay.

Stop Eating When Satisfied

We often interpret “full” as a stuffed, uncomfortable, lethargic feeling. When really we should feel satisfied and energetic. Learn to identify what satisfied feels like, and stop there. Even if it means you are hungry again in a few hours.

Savor Your Food

Take the time to really savor and enjoy your food. What does it look like? Smell like? Taste like? Eat without distractions, like television, so that you can really stay in touch with how your body is feeling. Try not to eat in a rush, or when stressed, which has negative effects on your digestive ability.

Reject the Concept of “Good” or “Bad” Food

Food is fuel, there is no moral value attached. Instead determine – how does this food make my body feel? Does it make me feel sick and tired? Or energetic and strong?

Honor Your Cravings – Food shouldn’t make you feel guilty or naughty, or that you’ve cheated or splurged. If you have a craving, satisfy it. Food restriction leads to negative mental effects and overeating. It is better to fully enjoy one scoop of your favorite ice cream, than to binge on diet food and snacks without ever feeling satisfied (and then probably going for the ice cream afterwards, anyway).

Progress, not perfection – and self compassion, always.

Lady Curvicorn

Aradia Instructor Lady Curvicorn has spent years researching self compassion and intuitive eating, and has used that experience to create a list of compassionate New Year’s Resolutions. We will be sharing her blog series with you throughout the month.

Reconnect with yourself

Reconnect with yourself

As I am aging I am finding my heritage and my love  for Yoga again. I have been immersing myself in yoga/ trainings/ and certifications from Kripalu. My recent immersion has been in Yoga Nidra with Jennifer Reis. The practice of Yoga Nidra opened my inner self for a deeper connection with myself.

Feel like a hamster caught in a wheel

I have often felt like a hamster caught in a wheel, running in the same place trying to get to places, yet each day turns into another and another and another. Though technology is all around us, we can connect with people loved ones right away yet there is overwhelming sense of loneliness and disconnection. There is so much social media noise that it has become impossible to hear oneself. In this blog I will not venture into comparison and ego but that is definitely coming. Working on a new space Shakti has brought its own challenges and small wins too. I have felt a deeper need to reconnect and be present. I wanted to share a few of my go to practices, in the hope that you might find them useful too.

It is not about controlling, it’s about being present, being open, being aware and allowing it to come.

Being one with your body

Most of us have experienced different forms of trauma, for some of us disconnecting with our body is a way to deal with it, for some of us our body image brings us pain of different kind. No matter how hard it seems but the truth is reconnecting with our body is the first step to grounding ourselves and being present in the present moment. Our body houses our soul/spirit, before we can reach deep within we need to connect with our body. I have found Yoga Nidra to be one of those practices, it brings a great amount of awareness to all 5 Koshas, and wherever awareness goes consciousness follows. On a wider level I believe both practices of Yoga and dancing bring great awareness to body, simple attention to breath brings attention to our body and to the present moment. It allows you to get out of your head and experience the magic of breath that we all take for granted.

In today’s world there is constant comparison of ourselves to others, our worth is defined by career achievements and financial standings. Just like the hamster in a wheel, this is an endless cycle. Breaking this cycle requires jumping off the wheel, from time to time to reconnect with our beautiful body, reconnect with our true being. Yoga Nidra is one of those practices that helps ground you and reconnect with Annamaya Kosha.

All problems are the illusions of the mind ~ Eckhart Tolle

Getting to know breath and the mind 

Once we connect with our body the next is to focus on your breath, your “prana”. Your energy, something that happens automatically yet is vital for our existence. We rarely give it attention. Attention to our breath brings us back to us, especially when our mind that is like a child, that is constantly worried, has doubts, self criticism, and obsesses. Guided meditation such as Yoga Nidra, guides us to its tantrums. Brings our awareness to it. With the breath grounding us in our body and our intellect noticing the inner child, we are bringing ourselves to the present moment.

What happened in the past stays there and future is not here, what we have is the NOW. Take in the present with your entire being. This practice can be very jarring because it will bring you face to face with your inner turmoil, however it will also make you realize it is your own creation. It will help you cultivate love for yourself, more compassion for yourself and others. It will bring you closer to you.

When there is a surge of restlessness| anxiety or when we feel overwhelmed, returning our focus to our breath can bring calmness. For some of us sitting meditation is hard, in that case dancing, walking are perfect to center ourselves.

You can not control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.

Acceptance and writing

Am I about to say journaling?? Yes I am, we tend to run away from our feelings,  we need to allow for us to process it fully be aware of it and accept it. This is where writing and journaling comes in. Journaling allows us to explore our thoughts and feelings further, allows us to go deeper and to the root causes which brings on greater awareness and hence acceptance without judgement or criticism Journaling has the potential of uncovering all the layers. It is like a deep conversation with ourselves, that forces us in a way to explore further and hopefully brings us closer to the answer of “who am I”.

These 3 practices can help us with deeper connection to ourselves, thereby leading us to live fuller lives, greater self love, and a sense of belonging.

Hope you join us for a yoga and mindfulness at our Yoga Nidra classes at  Shakti Yoga Nidra, 

Love And Light Always
Neelam Kataria

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