When I did my first down dog I was twelve years old and thought that my pink elastic waist sweat pants were a bit more modern than my mother’s black ballet leotard! I was happy to wear a cut off T-shirt and basketball shorts! But I was young, and well, almost everything is easy to wear when you are twelve.
Most men and women I know that practice yoga are not in their teens and need a little more - how shall I say this - love and support! Hopefully we are stronger, more aware, more intuitive and wiser than those younger versions of ourselves. Hopefully we move through space feeling more confident about how we feel inside, as well as how we are held together at our edges.
Sometimes those edges are our boundaries with the world - where our intimate self brushes up against our skin. Sometimes our edges are the uniform we put on and wear to meet our outer world.
If we think of our outer appearance as a manifestation of our deepest expression then we can be intelligent, spiritual, accomplished and still celebrate an outer beauty that is individual, unique and stunning. If we think about who some of the most beautiful women (and men) in the world are today, they are not classically beautiful but rather possess a ripeness of wisdom and depth that blazes out from behind their eyes. They don’t have model thin bodies and their facial expressions illuminate a strong inner spirit. They don’t challenge our beauty but rather inspire us to shine alongside them. Their beauty is inclusive in that it needs our participation on a deeper level. Their beauty is an invitation that reminds us there is so much more to be seen.
Fashion is an expression of a culture’s lifestyle, values and desires. It reflects the underlying manifestation of the group. It connects us and communicates information about who we are. Food, clothes, furniture, interior design, architecture, music, film, literature all breathe with the life of the people who create it.
The paradox is that even though we are a member of that whole, a part of our psyche still feels compelled to compare ourselves to one another. That is like the elbow comparing itself to and thinking that it should be more like the knee!
Comparison dims our light. Alignment with our own truth lights us up and makes space to receive the truth and beauty of others.
Can we respect each other’s talents, strengths and beauty without measuring ourselves against them?
I feel most empowered, beautiful and grounded when I am truly being myself. That can be challenging in a world that asks that we conform to a standard of beauty - often one which is unrealistic and unattainable. Especially now in the yoga world there are visual standards being set that most of us should not try to meet. We instead could seek to appreciate our own and each others beauty, to revel in it for what it is - an expression of our highest selves.
I love feeling healthy, strong, grounded and beautiful. This alignment is not something I seek in another’s eyes, but in how I feel about myself in my skin, and in how I choose to express myself. My physical body is a manifestation of my deepest subconscious creativity.
Align with your own fierce and beautiful self and shine a light on it. When you are truly aligned mentally, emotionally and physically you make space for your authenticity as a part of an expansive community of lifestyle. Allow your inner and outer selves to resonate with one another. Express your self with respect and joy. Inspire more beauty in the world.