by Deborah Castellano
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
Inherently, I don't like meditation because I feel like it's one long exercise of someone else telling me what to do. The second you tell me to close my eyes and make that mandatory and not optional, you've lost me.
Needless to say, this has been problematic in my budding yoga practice. It is one of many problems with my budding yoga practice. Almost everyone in my classes looks like a sexy, yoga-toned sex kitten who effortlessly flows from one movement to another. I spend a lot of time in class wondering why non-waifs don't do yoga. I also spend a lot of time in class wondering if I will ever be able to do half the movements being done, as my boobs impede my entire life. Every time I say this, it's like a revelation, so I'll say it again. If you are above a DD cup, everything is not awesome. Everything is not awesome at all. First, try spending less than $80 a bra if you are not in the Lane Bryant spectrum. I get three bras at a time and I have to replace them every six months. Yeah. For reals. Second, buying a bathing suit is like the fourth ring of hell. Third, sexy nightgowns? You are teh hilar. They don't exist for us. My boobs never fit in the designated boob area. Fourth, athletics are super difficult to do because you have two quart-sized baggies of peanut butter hanging from your chest. Fifth, good posture is a pipe dream.
So that's the long way around to say that it's impossible not to compare myself to all the yoga models I take class with. Their C-cup boobs don't impair them from movement or racer back tank tops.
What I'm also trying to say is: Feeling beautiful, feeling glamorous all the time is really difficult. It's part of why I keep doing yoga classes because I need to be in a sea of conventionally beautiful people and try to find the grace, glamour, and beauty within myself, while feeling like I'm a frizzball of hair, boobs, belly, and imperfection who is sweating like a whore in church. It feels like sticking my face in a blender full of self loathing, to be completely honest. But by the end of class, I feel proud enough that I made it through the class and that I took another step in my journey to keeping my body moving and keeping my fibromyalgia flare ups to a minimum that it's worth it to me. I have even started looking in the mirror to look at my form, something that is incredibly hard for me to do. I can work through the internalized self loathing that's still in me by about the half-way mark and admire some of the grace I have. It makes me feel closer to my college self that did modern dance and trusted her body to do what it's supposed to do. It reminds me that I still have some ability to move as I once did. While it makes me anxious and forces me to deal with some really uncomfortable feelings, I also feel the most present in my body during a class. More present than I've felt in close to a decade.
Feeling present in your body is something that helps glamour magic flow more naturally. Once I started feeling more present in my body and connected, I noticed all of my magic working more easily. It's hard to do for most of us, but it's really worth working on.
We all have friends who are more naturally charming or more conventionally pretty than we are, and they get all the positive flirtation cakes while you sit there, looking at your shoes and wishing some stranger would just once would see that you are of value, too. I had a real gut check moment on the day of my birthday party. I've been writing and talking about glamour so much, you would think that it would all come very easily at this point. It doesn't. I was just shy of breathing into a paper bag because someone attending my party was basically like, "I'm going to get blinged out, wear a micro mini with my boobs hanging out, and go full on beauty queen. You should do the same thing."
And . . .I just totally "twibbled," as my friend Jen would say. Twibbled at nearly forty years old over a high school issue. I don't own a micro mini. I have a few nice pairs of shoes/purses but no "real" bling anymore. I immediately felt anxious and depressed that I would just be the servant girl in the kitchen who makes the food for her own birthday like a damn Hobbit and my friend would have the spotlight at my party. It sounds silly, doesn't it? Like, we're all supposed to be so past all that after high school/college, but if we're being radically honest with ourselves, most of us aren't. My sister very smartly snapped me out of it by reminding me that everyone was coming to see me (another terrifying thought) and they would be happy to see me, no matter what I was wearing.
Talking about glamour (which is to say, what makes you interesting and exciting to yourself and others) is hard. No one wants to hear it. Everyone wants it to mean only one thing—a falsehood (the other dictionary definition) so no one has to look too closely at themselves. I'm writing about very real internal alchemy which is way more important than if you chant x magic chant and work with Goddess X, all your wishes and dreams will happen. Because honestly? I'm past that. If you do what you've always done, you're going to get what you've always gotten. It's time to shake up your witchcraft and your daily life. If your life isn't changing in very real and very terrifying ways by doing your magic and doing the mundane work, there is no incantation in the world that will help you.
You want two things that will blow the window of your glamour practice wide open?
- Be present in your body. Truly, really present. Do something different to get present. If you're a runner but hate meditation, meditate on why you aren't present. If you love trance work but hate strenuous physical effort, get on the elliptical and think about it there. If you are very intellectually based, go do some trance work to talk to your goddesses, spirits, and ancestors about it. Step outside your box. Keep doing the work (physical activity, intellectual activity, spiritual activity) until you figure out why you're not present and get present. Observe how others treat you once you are.
- Once you're present in your body, manifest your own truth by breathing in "Sooooo" and breathing out "Hummmm." This means, "I am that" in Sanskrit (सो ऽहम्). Focus on enchanting your life into becoming what you want to be (beautiful, sexy, loved, powerful, confident, whatever) with every fiber of your being while completely present in your body. Keep doing it until you blow the roof off your internal ant farm. Magic. Ta-da.
End of Lesson.
Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2017. All rights reserved.
"Life happens. Life in the flow."
We learn over time that nobody can solve our problems, but someone can guide you how to solve the problem. You may receive guidance through a teacher, a guru or even strangers that you run into every day. As we practice yoga we learn that the more we know, the less we truly know. Every day I am reminded how much I truly do not know; a very humbling experience.
Yoga teaches me to be present. To just live for being and enjoying life as it is right NOW. Not ten minutes from now, no five days ago, but right now. We are taught to get out of our heads, to release worries and fears of the past or the future and to only live for this very moment. Presence.
"Lead me from untruth to truth, lead me from darkness to light." ~ Buddha
Through yoga we are reminded that we do have a dark side as well as a light side. We are not to repress the dark side, but embrace that side of our Self. We are the yin and the yang. We ultimately cleanse the dark stuff we hold inside. We shine the light on this. We must make friends with dark side. Both positive and negative balance out the whole. Daily practice refines and improves our inner vision to see our Self more clearly. We no longer need to run from fears. Face them and say I'm not running from you anymore. So much is in our heads, so much dark is only in our heads, self-doubt judgment betrayal. Yoga grounds the body so that the light and dark sides of ourselves become clear. So much is truly untrue. But as we diligently practice we are able to find the middle ground and walk our centered balanced line in life. We gain balance in centered lightheartedness. We can have harmony in both light and dark.
"Yoga tells us that the world is actually a projection of our own thoughts and we can modify our inner world to manifest into our outer world. When our inside realm is at peace and in harmony, our outer world shines this projection back at us." ~ David, Jiva Mukti Yoga co-founder
Yoga is observation.
We can observe our world and see what part that is in us is begin reflected back to us. We can then see what part of us needs modification or adjustment in order to have our outer reality reflect back to us the peace, happiness and love we so greatly desire and deserve.
Yoga is already inside of you. Happiness is there. Yoga helps you peel away the onion layers to get to the core. To freedom. The deepest Divine connection to the Ultimate Light Source.
Come out of wanting and back into acceptance and Joy. A yogi or yogini can turn any situation into bliss. That is a yogi. Yoga is being now. Ultimate yoga is meditation. Just BE.
Yoga is love.
"Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls." ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Through a dedicated practice of all forms of yoga we can participate in the world with a sense of freedom, unaffected from trauma, depression, anger, etc. The freedom is balance in both.
Maggie Anderson is a Yoga & Spiritual Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master Instructor, Soul Coach®, Past Life Coach, Magnified Healing® Master Teacher and Angelights Messenger. She is the author of How I Found My True Inner Peace and Divine Embrace. You can contact Maggie at SpiritualCompassConnection.com.
"Follow Your Bliss. It's Your Spiritual Compass."