As a yoga teacher I hear all kinds of body image issues. When will this madness stop???? Last night while I was teaching a private lesson, I had a long time student sheepishly tell me that she did not understand what I meant when I said “tuck your hips/butt/booty/tailbone” under. OK – so I will show you – stand in the mirror, put your hands on your hips and tilt the pelvis back and forth.
She could not do it.
Why? Its because she admitted that she hated her small tushy and that she is so used to sticking it out that she could not tuck under. First I told her that this is a samskara, or an habit that is so stuck we are going to have to work on getting it out of her system. Then I coached her through tucking her butt under and she said “This feels great!!” Yea! A long spine, not a crunched up, unhappy lumbar and SI Joint. Whooo hoooo! Freeeeeedom on more than one level! That is why I love yoga. Love love love yoga.
Her lack of booty love is not only a self esteem issue (I also told her that I would happily give her some of my booty, so I need to work on this as well) her negative body image was also hurting her in almost every pose she was practicing in class. She thought that the pain was because she was “old” and “it was just too late for her to be pain free” and “she would never look like taller people in class.”
Oy! Yoga is not a competitive sport. The competition is in your head. You are battling yourself here. Your EGO tries to stay in control. And do not be fooled, the ego is not just the voice in your head that tells you that you are better than so and so, but its also the nasty voice that tells you “don’t tuck your butt under, everyone will see that you don’t have a banging booty.”
At the end of this class, she said that she felt better than ever before at the end of class. The pressure is off and she can now start really tasting the freedom of yoga.