Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Message to My Sixth Grade Self

I've been following a lot of yoga blogs of late, for obvious reasons. I came across Curvy Yoga recently, and wish I had found it five years ago, when I first started practicing yoga and was much curvier than I am now. Curvy Yoga classes, or any yoga classes tailored toward people with curves, are few and far between in my experience, and joining a yoga class or studio where everyone seems to be fitter and thinner than you can be intimidating. Trust me. Been there, done that.

But yoga is ultimately about connecting your mind, spirit AND body. It's about tuning in to what your body has to tell you, noticing it and not judging it. As a curvy gal, I've been judging my body for as long as I can remember. With years of yoga practice and other strategies, I'm getting better at the acceptance and non-judgment, but those negative thoughts still creep in on occasion. Which is why I absolutely loved a (somewhat) recent blog post on Curvy Yoga about an enthusiastic sixth-grade yoga student.

Many of the lessons Anna mentions she learned from this beautiful sixth grader are lessons I wish I'd learned by the sixth grade. In fact, most of them I'm still learning. "Fearlessness is the new black," for instance. Or, "Your body is perfect because it's yours."

With that in mind, I decided to write up my own list of messages I'd like to send my sixth grade self. Things I wished I'd known then (and maybe even wish I knew right now). I figure, my sixth grade self is still in there somewhere, still learning, right? Hopefully these lessons will help her grow up confident and strong.

Lesson #1: Trust your gut. If something feels right for you, it probably is. And if it feels "off", that's enough of a reason to walk away.

Lesson #2: You are beautiful. No matter what the magazines or TV shows say or imply. Just because your body looks different, just because you're not a size 2, doesn't mean you are any less beautiful than that model or the skinny girl in your math class.

Lesson #3: It's okay to shine. Don't spend your life hiding. Allow yourself the opportunity to stand out. Be smart. Be funny. Be brave. Enjoy your life by being exactly who you are.

What lessons would you share with your sixth-grade self?

5 comments:

Midassa said...

Sometimes I still feel like a 6th grader. I'm on my own road to fitness and it's not easy. When I saw a very fit woman running yesterday, I instantly became that young girl judging and hating herself for not looking like THAT girl.

It reminds me of 'Eleven' by Sandra Cisneros: What they don't understand about birthdays and what they never tell you, is that when you're eleven, you're also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one.

Anna Guest-Jelley said...

Thanks for the shout-out -- but mostly for your lovely list! Trust your gut is definitely one I'm adding to mine.

So glad to connect! ♥

Amber / empowermentyoga said...

I would tell my 6th grade self that I have the power to change my life by believing in myself. I wish I had learned that earlier. :)

Ami said...

Midassa - I can obviously relate to the self-judgment and comparison. (I think I have a blog post coming up about that topic.) And I love 'Eleven'. Thanks for sharing that!

Anna - Thanks for stopping by! So glad I found you. :)

Amber - Ditto to that one, too! I think I'm still learning that lesson, if I'm honest.

Sara Kirby said...

I wish I had told myself that the acne would go away and if you just have confidence in who you are as a person and friend others will see it reflected on the outside.

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