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Newnan, Georgia, United States
I am a yoga student continuously studying, taking workshops and practice, practice, practice.
Currently enrolled in a 230hr Yoga Teacher Training. I hope to share that with you here.
Born & raised in the south along the banks of the Mississippi in Louisiana. Married in 2003 and transplanted to Georgia.
A southern Yogini at heart.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Big Belly

So I debated on writing this...but I am going to for several reasons.

I know that when we openly share things on the internet we sort of put a bulls eye on ourselves. We are left open for both good and negative comments/feedback.

I suppose this is the Yin/Yang, the balance, etc...

So...I received 2 anonymous comments regarding the size of my belly. I deleted the first one because I thought it was silly. However, I was sent another friendly reminder this morning.

This time I decided to publish it. This person is looking for some type of response...So here is your response.

Yep. You are right my anonymous friend. I have a belly and thank you for being inclined to remind me.

First, I have to say the comment made me slip back in to my previous patterns for a split second. The thoughts of dieting, loosing weight and all the fear associated with shape and size flooded in. I was soon comforted with my other conscious thoughts and reminders that I am happy. This reminded me that where I am today is a good place. I have come so far emotionally and physically.

4 years ago I was unhealthy, overweight and not taking care of myself. But, once I truly dedicated myself to the practice of yoga I began to loose the unhealthy weight, eat whole/sustainable foods, maintain a pretty regular asana practice and deal with many emotional issues that were hidden deep. Today, I am physically in better shape than I have ever been and I am at a happy healthy weight.

I am also at a place where I am emotionally okay. I love my curvy body (and just so you know my husband loves it as well and I am very lucky)

I feel amazing, alive, healthy and strong. I no longer strive to be what others perceive as beautiful or perfect. Because I already am...beautiful and perfect today. Belly and all.

The size of my belly has no bearing on my happiness. I believe it used to. But not today.

I truly believe the size of my belly is not an indication of my willingness to be a good person, a yoga student or fully present in my life.

I also feel that God, Buddha or Krishna (or any other being) don't really care about the size of my belly. I think it truly matters about the size of my heart.

Granted we all have things we wish to change. But the path I have chosen teaches to accept where I am, love where I am.

I also feel that the size of my belly doesn't affect those around me in a negative manner. They seem to love me. I love me. My pup loves me. I really doubt my pup looks at me and thinks twice about my squishy midsection.

However, for some reason the size of my belly has prompted you to comment on my post.

So thank you my friend. For making me feel strongly enough to respond to your comment.

I felt that I should. Because women and men face individuals such as yourself daily. It is important to remind myself of these things that I've shared here.

Also, it is important for women and men to know that doing yoga has nothing to do what shape or size you are.

Yoga is for everyone!

Much Love

17 comments:

Eco Yogini said...

what a fantastic response! It's sad that there is still such social pressure (from men and other women) for the elusive perfect "ideal" body type that is unhealthy and unrealistic. Thank you for standing up and firmly stating that no- you are NOT your body. I am not MY body.

Your postures and thoughts are beautiful and congratulations on being healthy and happy! So many people (anonymous commenter included) are not.

Many Blessings and thank you for sharing!

Rachel said...

Firstly, why would anyone comment in such a manner? What was their point? Just to be mean?

Secondly, you and I have spoken about Buddha bellies before over on LJ and I think your attitude to your body and food is brilliantly healthy.

Flo, you're awesome :)

Brooks Hall said...

Hi Flo,
I looked at the previous post to find the "big belly" comment. That's rediculous! You're doing the right thing in so many ways! And good for you to bring this out into the light! What positive effect can there be to leave a comment like that? Except you made it into one by increasing your words of self-acceptance on this blog. I admire you.

Melissa said...

I'm in the same boat as you, Southern Yogi. I don't conform to the images on the cover of Yoga Journal either, and after discovering yoga, I am happier than I have ever been in my life.

I would choose a big belly over a small, sad heart any day.

Tracy said...

Flo, your post truly shows what a BIG Beautiful heart you do indeed have inside of that gorgous body of yours. I am truly Blessed to call you my friend! There is no "cookie cutter" for what we are supposed to look like or be...this body is a "garment" that we "wear" while we are on this earth..and as long as we worship it by keeping it as heallthy ... Read Moreas we possibly can with right eating, yoga, exercise, and compassion for our fellow human beings we are on the right path. And you my friend are living testament to that truth!
OM Shanti~~~~~~~~(p.s. your post made me cry!)

Anonymous said...

hey, Flo, you have a big HEART :)
and a beautiful smile!

and that was a beautiful and big hearted response.

Tiko said...

Wow...I can't believe someone would write that. Why?

Anyways, Flo...I love your blog and what you aspire to do everyday. And, I also love that you share your life with all of us. You've been very inspiring to me, and my yoga practice. And, I'm glad you're not gonna let that negative comment deter you.

Keep up the good work! We all love you! :)

Anonymous said...

Great post and reply !

To the moron that posted the original 'big belly' comment, if you are going to write things like that, show your face ! It is pretty low to make snide remarks whilst hiding behind anonymity.

I have a belly too and I am doing second series. Go girls with bellies !

Flo said...

So many amazing people and yogis out there. It shows I am in really good company! <3
Much Love

lisa said...

Kudos to you - beautiful post, and beautiful drop back - way braver than mine!

Love your pooch too - mine always jumps on me when I do Nakrasana!

Anonymous said...

I wrote the big belly comment.
Thank you very much for such a wonderful response. It's exactly how I hoped you would respond. It has made you feel better about yourself and you have obviosuly come a long way. I congratulate you. Everyone should read what you wrote. It is inspiring and uplifting. You are obviously living yoga and it shows in your words. If only more yogis could approach life and their practice the way you do.

Michelle said...

You're beautiful. People project their own insecurities out onto the people and things around them. This is important - Yoga is not about your body looking a certain way (and yours is perfect just the way it is.)

xoMichelle
You reminded me of something similar - a blog post is about to be born. Thank you.

http://athayoganusasanam.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Great post. Strong woman! Strong body. You rock! Much wisdom here--and calm.

Tara

Bee said...

It's so funny what people look for, what they expect to see. I've been reading your blog regularly and looking at the pictures, and I never once noticed a big belly! I just saw a dedicated yogi. I don't mean that I'm a good person and your commenter is bad, just that it's interesting to notice (once again) how a person's expectations influence what they see.

Congratulations on rising above your old ways of thinking, and following such a positive path in life. You are definitely an inspiration.

Sharper said...

wow, I just saw the video and I thought you looked amazing.

I'm a girl bigger than you. I'm short, round and could loose about 20 more lbs. I don't have a big belly, i have big everythings. I do plenty of cardio and weight training, really turned my food intake to healthy foods, and just recently added yoga to my new lifestyle. I do a lot of this to loose weight. And to see someone making a comment on a "big belly" is so upsetting. How dare anyone be so judgmental. I was wanting to take some pics of me doing my new yoga moves to document my beginning adventures into yoga. That way i can look back and say - "that's where it all began." I think I'll title my post - "fat ass yoga" lol

really sorry that there were comments about how you looked. I think you looked amazing. I liked the video. Hell, I'd be showing off, too, if I could do that.

Tesia said...

Great response!

kcraine said...

"Anonymous" has no class .. and no eyes apparently. You do not have a big belly... but, even if you did... so what?