Have you seen the movie I FEEL PRETTY? The opening scene depicts an average girl attending her very first spin class. She walks into the studio that is overcrowded with excited fit women ready to ride their souls out together. The room is buzzing as pretty smiles and perfect buns prepare for their class, And I’m not just talking about the buns poised perfectly atop blonde heads. Our average gal makes her way to the counter to grab her shoes and specifies she needs a double wide 9. The clerk begins to make a mockery of the fact that this woman needed shoes that were not just wide but DOUBLE wide, calling her feet huge and offering her a mens size.

The woman is mortified as the room of fake eyelashes are staring at her and her double wide feet. This feeling of abnormal is incepted into our girl who is now reaffirming she doesn’t fit into this group of people. Ugh, that feeling. 

“I accept myself completely”, we say after a beautiful freedom flow Monday Morning. A few quiet voices chime along in an obligatory way but these words are not said with truth, and this I understand. Self acceptance is hard as self acceptance is not welcome in a culture that will sell you cream to “fix” your cellulite or the candy & tea to “curb hunger”. Self acceptance is taboo among women working out 4 hours a day and eating only lettuce. Self acceptance is myth when we’ve been trained to identify differences between ourselves and the women entertaining us, between the great minds of our species and ourselves. “If Kim can get her body back after her baby so can I” we say as we malnourish our bodies and harm our minds to be something someone else has defined as acceptable. “I’m not smart enough to do this work” we tell ourselves as we crush our own dreams and stay at the desk job we hate…

So I pose the question: why is who you are unacceptable and who defines acceptability?

Cellulite is a simple accumulation of fat closer to the skin causing a dimple… face dimples are ok but the one on my butt is not? Did you know cellulite only became a “flaw” 40 years ago when in 1973 Nicole Ronsard described it as “disfiguring” in a magazine(Body Positive Power – Megan Crabbe p45). Nicole then released a best selling book about Those Lumps, Bumps, and Bulges You Couldn’t Lose Before. Yup, that’s the title. And she made a butt ton of money off of selling the idea that cellulite isn’t acceptable. Unfortunately the beauty industry ran with it and now in any beauty isle we can find creams and oils to fix this natural chemical reaction of the body. Corporations have been praying on our insecurities and telling us “Yeah, that isn’t normal… but our product will fix that”. Like the appetite suppressant products on the market. As if appetite isn’t normal now? The body tells us when it’s hungry and needing fuel, that’s what hunger and appetite do and we are ignoring these feelings because someone ate less than us and told us that was normal?

PSA: we are all different. Like the way milk makes someone gassy and another happy. How one person is entertained by romantic comedies and another is not. Different in the way someone can grow a beard and another cannot. Like flowers; roses and lilies are different breeds yet both beautiful in their own way. We see the sharp thorns of a rose as part of its package. We wouldn’t modify a lily to have thorns nor have we removed the thorns from the rose so why do we feel the need to modify ourselves? This self judgement imposed upon our flaws is just an echo in your head of another point of view probably imposed by another trying to sell a product or idea. We are perfect; designed by generations of genes and evolution. You are a genetically unique human so stop trying to be someone else.

Stop trying to fit into someone else’s mold of ideal and take a look at your thorns. Take a look at those parts of you that make you human that barbie didn’t have. And just love them. Stop telling yourself your not normal and accept your humanness.

What I love about Oxygen Yoga is the insane amount of self acceptance practiced. I see our yogis and fit fam showing up for themselves every day. Nurturing their body through movement and their mind through focus of breath. Some of our studio owners, instructors and clients practice radical self acceptance and share the idea when they can. Offering mantras every week to make you think about the beliefs that don’t serve you. Challenging you with new workouts that invigorate the body and generate strength, and by slowing down doubtful thoughts and letting them go in yoga or deep stretch. This community is unlike anything I’ve found at a gym. This community accepts my flaws and encourages me to be the best me. This community is waiting for you to be a part of it. Try our $10 unlimited week trial and come see what I’m talking about.

Now, close your eyes and repeat the mantra three times:
“I accept myself completely”
“I accept myself completely”
“I accept myself completely”