Yoga, for many of us, is a path of Remembering. It can guide us on a journey of re-membering the parts of ourselves that we have lost or consciously hidden. Whether or not you are a practicing yogini, you will likely be able to relate to this special guest blog post about getting REAL with yourself and LOVING all of you.
Our guest blogger, Melanie Elkin, is a Santa Barbara-based yogini and founder of her yoga coaching brand, Yoga’licious. She is a healer and leader with an inspiring and radically honest personal journey about self acceptance and true SELF LOVE. She shares her story and insight with us in todays guest blog post. Enjoy guys!
Starting at the early age of 5 I distinctly remember being in the dressing room getting on my cute little pink leotard at the ballet studio I attended when a fellow student commented on how big my thighs were.
In that moment I already started registering shame and embarrassment when it came to my body, my beauty, and my essential Self.
This led into years of body hate, body shame, never feeling like I was enough, and two bouts of Anorexia (one when I was 12 and one when I was 18).
After being hospitalized for Anorexia at the age of 18, even though I had done some great healing, I was still very rigid and formulaic when it came to how I moved my body, ate, and took care of myself.
I was still caught up in comparison, and evaluating my worth by how much I did or didn’t do in all areas of my life.
Whether or not your experience with your body was/is as extreme as mine, I’m sure there’s a part of you that can relate to getting stuck in comparison mode or measuring your worth based on what you look like or how much you do.
When I found yoga on my journey over 6 years ago it was like a homecoming. A remembering. The missing link that I had been praying for.
Yoga was radically different than my usual kick-my-own-ass workouts I had been immersed in at this time in my life.
My whole Being, Body, and Soul resonated with those brief yet profound moments during my yoga practice where all the thoughts about doing more, being more, not being enough, or needing my body to look a certain way washed away and I felt alive, soft, and SO in connection with myself.
My yoga practice over the past 6 years has been one of the most profound experiences (and still is) that has brought me into a space of deep appreciation, softening, and respect for my body.
My mat time is sacred, and practicing yoga for me now is a form of deeply caring for my body, learning how to listen to her unique language, and a place where I have learned how to soften into and love all parts of me.
BUT - I recognize that not everyone has this experience with their yoga practice. Even in the yoga world, there are messages that tell you:
“Go faster, do more, get it done!”
“You should look a certain way.”
“You need to be fixed.”
“Your body is not enough the way it is.”
I created my Yoga'licious business 4 years ago because I wanted women to hear a different and revolutionary message when it comes to their beauty, their body, their expression as a women, and their yoga practice.
I use a very unique approach (no formula) by blending yoga, coaching, body intelligence work, and somatics to support each woman in crafting a whole new way of relating to her body; one that is rooted in self love and appreciation so that when she goes to sleep at night no matter what happened or didn't happen in the day she knows in her core she is lovable.
I believe that the message of loving your body as-is (whether you’re a woman or a man) and coming from a space of not needing to be fixed, figured out, or perfected is essential in our world now more than ever!
The way you speak to yourself, connect to yourself, and relate to your body effects all aspects your life including career, relationships, money, and truly your own experience of aliveness!
When you take stand for loving yourself and your body and letting yourself been seen in the magnificence that you are, it has the power to not only transform your own life but our entire world as a whole.
So no matter where you are on your journey, I want to leave you with my top-ten biggest discoveries I have had over the past 13 years. I hope it reminds you of all the magic and possibility inherent in you, exactly as you are now.
- There is not ‘one right way’ to practice yoga
- There is not ‘one right way’ to eat
- There is not ‘one right way’ to exercise
- There is not ‘one right way’ to move your beautiful body
- There is not ‘one right way’ to express your Self
- There is not ‘one right way’ to be a daughter, a mother, a father, a son, a lover, a friend
- There is not ‘one right way’ to love yourself
- There is not one canned expression of beauty
- The “rule book” is already inside you!
- You are lovable in all parts of you; even the messy parts. The being of you is beauty. Your enough-ness isn’t in a formula, box, size, or hottest yoga pose on Instagram – it is right now, so go out there and shine!
Melanie Elkin is the creator and founder of Yoga’licious where she passionately teaches and supports women in creating a whole new love language and way of being when it comes to their body image, yoga practice, self-care, relationship with their authentic selves, and conversation around beauty. She does not do quick fixes or cookie cutter exercise and yoga routines but instead guides women to create a way of living that nourishes them, feels pleasurable, and brings them back to a juicy connection to themselves.
Curious to learn more? Melanie is starting her next round of her signature Yoga’licious 6 month group program this Fall. This group will be a space for you to create a whole new love language with your body, your Self, your yoga practice, and the way you practice self-care that has the power to open up so much aliveness, creativity and space in your life.
As a Drishti reader, Melanie is offering a complimentary no strings attached 30 minute exploratory call with her so you can see together what is possible for you! Since she will only be taking 15-20 women max make sure to email her at Melanie@melanieelkin.com please email her by September 3rd so she can make sure to block off a time for you both to speak!