“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~~ Rumi

Summer is officially here. For many of us, this is awesome…warmth, sunshine, hikes in the great outdoors, the beach…

Wait a second, did you just say, “the beach”? You mean, I’ve got to put on a BATHING SUIT!

Now, before you get all huffy on me and have a panic attack, this blog entry is not going to be me preaching about how you should be “working your core” or doing tons of Chaturangas so that you can achieve that bikini body. No, this blog is to remind you that no matter what, you must have a positive perspective.

Remember, we practice yoga for peace of mind first. Which generally tends to provide us with improved health. And then maybe, by accident, we end up with a better body. But having that better body should not be your main priority. We need to love ourselves just as we are in the present moment, warts and all. This means we must find the positive in everything we do, AND in how we look.

I just finished reading “The Paleo Coach”, by Jason Seib. I know what many of you must be thinking right now. “What? She’s a yoga teacher and she eats MEAT?? What the heck?!” Well, before you get all judgmental on me, this blog is not about how to eat. With the health issues I’ve been dealing with for several years, I have found that eating Paleo works for me. Enough said. You eat in the way that is best for you…I am not here to judge. But I bring up this book because Jason does a wonderful job at pointing out that mindset is what it’s all about. You’ve got to WANT change and be motivated, or else you will never succeed in having the life you are meant to have…the life you deserve to have. This means you’ve got to have that peace of mind from the beginning, and then comes the better health, and all the rest.

How many of you out there get frustrated in your physical yoga practice? I’ll be the first to admit that I am prone to berating myself when I can’t do poses I used to be able to do. Many are simply too painful for me right now. It’s sometimes hard to look around the room at all the people who CAN do what I can’t and not get a little envious. But you know what? I am able to move. I can still do yoga. I still am able to participate in class, and I modify where I need to.

I’ve had to work at it, but now when I am on my mat, I really am able to tune everything else out. Instead of worrying about how I look, or what I can’t do, I now just focus on what I AM able to do. I remind myself how beneficial this practice is for my overall wellbeing. It’s truly helped me through many things. I try to find something positive in each and every pose that I make my way into. It’s crucial for me to do this, because otherwise, I’d end up leaving my mat feeling empty and bitter. Which is so NOT what yoga is all about.

So as you find your way to your yoga practice this week, try and let go of any barriers you’ve created around yourself. Love yourself enough to know that you deserve the best in life. And then approach your yoga practice in a way that honors that. Don’t be afraid of what you think you CAN’T do. Instead, relish the things you CAN do. Accept where you are. Right now. In this moment.

Namaste,

Melanie

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