I am loving all the Dove commercials these days that focus on inner beauty and
more importantly shedding light on how harshly we judge ourselves. If you haven't
already, see them here:
Both of these videos are really powerful examples of the fact that:
We Are Truly Our Own Worst Critics
When we judge our worth on our physical appearance, we are setting ourselves up
for disappointment. As we all know, beauty fades with time. We must focus our
attention on the Beauty Within. But this is very difficult to do in a society that prizes
outer beauty. Let's face it, most of us want to look good. We want to be beautiful,
or handsome, or sexy. It's normal to feel that way.
Eckhart Tolle talks about our Ego and Identification with the body in his book:
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. He says:
In the West, it is the physical appearance of the body that contributes greatly to the
sense of who you think you are: its strength or weakness, its perceived beauty or
ugliness relative to others. For many people, their sense of self-worth is intimately
bound up with their physical strength, good looks, fitness, and external appearance.
Many feel a diminished sense of self-worth because they perceive their body as
ugly or imperfect.
He continues on to say that those people who identify with their good looks, or
physical strength and abilities will experience suffering when those attributes
inevitably fade or disappear.
... you were in a car accident tomorrow and were badly burned or lost your limbs?
...all your hair suddenly fell out due to illness?
...you finally achieved your goal weight
... everyone told you that you are the most beautiful person in the world?
... you became ill and your physical body became weak?
Would you still be the same person?
Who are you Really?
I am not this hair.
I am not this skin.
I am the soul that lives within.
The "I Love You" Exercise
This powerful exercise comes from Louise Hay. Find a private place for just you and yourself and take a look at yourself in the mirror. Look directly at yourself and say, "I love you" out loud to yourself. I know this may seem strange but it is important that you actually say the words out loud directly to yourself. Repeat this 3 times. Whatever comes up for you as you do this, just let it.
Notice what emotions come up for you. You may feel awkward or uncomfortable or maybe even embarrassed. Any number of difficult emotions can come up for you as you try this. Bring an awareness to that. It is a great idea to write in a journal what came up for you as you did this exercise.
Feel free to send me an email and share what happened for you! Practice this often! And see what changes as you do this regularly.
What Stops You from Loving You?
Oh Rumi, how I love thee!! I'm not sure about you but for me, I was shocked at the results when I tried the "I love you" exercise. I felt shy and embarrassed and I noted that I looked at my reflection critically in the mirror at times. As I repeated the words, I softened but I definitely felt vulnerable. Why can it be so hard to let love in? Just as it can be hard to take a compliment... or accept acts of kindness and service from others. Many of us find it easier to give and do for others than to take something loving for ourselves. How interesting.
Take your left hand and put it over your heart. Now put your right hand over your left. Close your eyes or soften your gaze and breathe into your heart. As you exhale, let your body soften. Breathe a few calm breaths this way. Can you find love for yourself in this moment? Love for the REAL YOU. Not your outer body, not your social self that you show to the world, but for the TRUE SELF within. That person that is really you. When we put too much focus on the outer body we feel separate from others. We compare ourselves as better, stronger, skinnier, prettier or inferior, weaker, fatter, uglier.. this separates us from others and negatively affects our energy and our light and takes us out of love.
Gabrielle Bernstein talks about how when we separate from love this way we feel bad and we think it's because the world told us we were fat, ugly, etc., but the real reason is because these thoughts make us afraid and when we are afraid we do things to try and numb the fear such as overeating, sleeping, avoidance behaviours, and perpetuating negative beliefs about ourselves. She recommends: Choosing LOVE over Fear By choosing to LOVE yourself, you recognize when you are thinking negative thoughts and going into those fear-based patterns and you have compassion for yourself. You choose to make new choices, even though they are uncomfortable such as eating healthy foods, exercising and getting a good night's sleep. You choose to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. You choose to focus on the inner light and beauty rather than on the outside. You find happiness in helping others and sharing kindness and love.
When you change your mind about your body, Your body changes.
In fact, not only does your body change, but the purpose of the body shifts as well.
Once you begin to see your body as love, you learn how to use it as a communication device for sharing that love.
1. What do I really think about my body?
2. How do these thoughts affect my energy?
3. How has my ego made me think my body is special (Positive or Negative?)
4. How have my fears from the past created negative body behaviours?
(For example, if your ego has held on to a past fear of being alone, then you may
have filled your loneliness with food, sex, drugs, alcohol, etc.)
In what ways have your ego body perceptions from the past negatively affected
Go Love Your Self!
Love yourself enough to relax.
Love yourself enough to find gratitude for all the amazing things this body
does for you - just imagine your heart beating, your lungs breathing, bones
and injuries healing -all without any conscious action on your part!
The body truly is amazing. The body strives for health. Have compassion
for your body. Have love for your body. Have compassion for you. Love YOU!
Accept yourself Unconditionally.
The more content you can become with yourself, the more joy and love
you will find with others. When you look in the mirror, Find LOVE!
If you have any questions or to share your experiences, please get in touch!
I would love to hear from you!
Gentle Yoga Classes
The Gentle Yoga classes are running every Monday and Thursday morning and are
a lovely way to fit some restoration and rejuvenation into your schedule!
Contact me if you want to come out and try a class -there is room for drop-ins.
Private Yoga Therapy
Yoga therapy is individual therapy according to the individual's constitution, age, disposition, and presenting health issues. To begin this working relationship, I will meet with clients for an initial assessment and then provide them with a customized program including but not limited to such tools and techniques as :
• yoga asana (postures),
• pranayama (breathing exercises),
• guided meditation and mantra,
• therapeutic massage, thai yoga massage, reiki,energy work, chakras
• educational teachings on the yamas and niyama (rules for living healthy lives).
Yoga therapy involves much more than a private yoga class with yoga asanas (postures) and breath work, as it includes meditation, counseling and a holistic approach to meeting your goals (nutrition, counseling, journaling, etc).
My services include such offerings as:
• Yoga Therapy & Pathophysiology for Chronic Pain
• Yoga Therapy for Cancer, End-of-Life & Chronic Illness
• Yoga Therapy for Trauma (incl. PTSD) and Grief
• Yoga Therapy for Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Fibromyalgia
• Yoga Cosmology, Psychology & the Chakras
• Yoga Therapy for Depression & Anxiety
• Structural Alignment Therapy (Universal Principles of Alignment)
• Restorative Yoga & Yoga Nidra
• Ayurvedic Medicine
Counseling @ Bayridge Center
I am proud to be offering counseling and therapy services out of the Downtown
Oakville and Mississauga locations (403 & Hwy 10) of Bayridge.
If you are looking for support and a compassionate, non-judgemental ear,
I encourage you to contact me for an appointment.
I offer on site, telephone, email and skype counseling.
Private Yoga & Yoga Therapy Gift Certificates
I have had requests for information about purchasing private yoga sessions or yoga
therapy sessions for gifts. Whether for yourself or others, this is a great way to start
off the new year! Private yoga or Yoga therapy is suitable for anyone who wishes to
reconnect with the physical body and to meet health and wellness goals such as:
• weight loss
• improved physical health -strength and flexibility
• healing from injuries or illness
• support for psychological stress,
• emotional issues (panic, anxiety, depression, grief, etc.)
• self-care, self-compassion
• overall health!
Contact me for details to purchase your gift certificates. I can provide you with a
printed gift certificate that you can wrap. Shipping is offered if you live
out of my local area.
If you would think that yoga therapy is something that could benefit you (and really it is!), Introduce yourself now by completing my Lifestyle inquiry form to share your personal history and experiences and to let me know your issues and concerns.