The Practice and “Perfection” of My Yoga Self

Lateefah Fleming, owner of empowerFit Wellness, practicing yoga for her own well being and empowerment

Lateefah Fleming, owner of empowerFit Wellness, practicing yoga for her own well being and empowerment

I used to get really intimidated by the pictures of all those yoga teachers in superhuman poses. They are floating into handstands, bending into shapes I cannot begin to physically imagine my body getting into.  And they are all so ….thin.  Not unhealthy, mind you.  Just a hell of a lot smaller than me! Well, maybe I still get a little mesmerized by those pics and their abilities.  I guess I cannot say I “used to” get intimidated as I saw some pictures the other day that made me feel quite inadequate.  Again.  Then I snapped out of that.  I had to.  I was on my way to take a yoga class!  My personal practice generally doesn’t  include superhuman poses but it is strong, healing, uplifting and filled with progression. It is my personal practice that leads me to teach the way I do. It’s always very cool that even if my body chooses to not twist into those pretzel poses, I am skilled enough to get you there. My practice, and in turn what I lead my students through, is about my strength, about recognizing how glorious a being I am and letting go of the pursuit of perfection or the ideal of some random sinewy yogi on my Instagram feed. Your personal yoga practice should not be about competition or judging yourself.  It’s about the experience of enjoying your progression.   What you do on the mat should encourage you not frustrate you. It should strengthen your mind, as well as strengthen, soothe and heal your body and soul.

My yoga practice has helped me grow tremendously. It allows me to embrace these thick thighs, broad shoulders, ample booty and generous heart.  It also helps me to see how amazing I am in my own Instagram feed.  Hey, #impressyourself

Before you judge yourself for not being like any other yogi, ask yourself exactly what your practice does for you. It’s the perfect place to tap into what you need, how you feel and to be empowered. Is your time on the mat the only time you have to get away from the kids?  Is it that time for you to challenge yourself?  Maybe your practice is how you find a moment of peace in an otherwise chaotic and hectic life.  When you step on to the mat, take a moment to understand why you stepped on the mat then go ahead and do your thing.  If it just makes you feel like a bad ass then get you’re your bad ass on, woman.

Now, all you have to do is step on the mat. Oh, and stay off the yoga Instagram feed for a moment!  Just kidding :0.  Admire those beautiful bodies….then admire your own.

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