My Body, My Friend?

This entry was posted on Sep 25, 2014 by Charlotte Bell.
yoga bodyYoga Body – My Body, My Friend

I once had to initiate a break-up.

With a friend.

It took me a long time to realize it, but our friendship had become toxic. I shared responsibility for letting the relationship get to the one-sided point it did, but it wasn’t really about that.

What it was really about was what I hadn’t let myself see, as well as what I hadn’t bothered to learn in the first place.

You know what else that reminds me of?

My relationship with my body.

My Body, My Self?

Although I guess I technically lived in my body (it seemed up for debate most days), I didn’t know it at all for years and years. The primary messages I received about it were that it wasn’t okay and that it needed to change—preferably yesterday.

Unlike my friendship gone awry, though, breaking up wasn’t possible.

So I had to find another way.

Opposites Attract

I’d decided my way was to finally realllllllllly make one of those miracle diets happen. I know you know the ones, the stuff of late-night infomercials’ dreams.

As I began to (re)commit (because this was far, far, far from my first time), something odd happened.

I started practicing yoga.

And I liked it.

Jazzercise It Out

Up until that point in my life, I’d only ever moved my body as a form of self-punishment. Even when I didn’t hate bopping away to ’80s music, I was never there because it felt good to move.

I was there because I hoped it would feel good to be thin.

So when I liked yoga, you can imagine I was a bit skeptical. What was it hiding?!

Turns out, the better question was, What was I?

Oh, Hey There

Because what I found through yoga was my way into a friendship with myself. Through teaching me what my body felt like in certain poses, that skill began to show up in my everyday life.

It was nothing short of a miracle, and I’m not given to hyperbole.

(Okay, actually I am. But not in this instance—promise!)

The more I knew about myself, the harder it became to be so darn hard on myself. I developed compassion through connection, and I began to extend myself some of the small kindnesses I so easily and generously shared with others.

These days, if I find myself feeling bad about my body, I turn to my mat to tune in. It’s a place for me to plug into where I am in the moment and from there, shift how I’m feeling.

This is a friendship I’m in for the long run. No break-up needed (and I’m pretty sure we’ll be getting each other BFF necklaces soon).

About Anna Guest-Jelley
Anna Guest-Jelley is the founder of Curvy Yoga, a training and inspiration portal offering body-positive yoga classes, workshops, teacher trainings, retreats, a virtual studio and an in-person studio in Nashville, TN, for people of all shapes and sizes. Anna is also the co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body. Visit the Curvy Yoga website for more details: