Posted in:Confidence, Inspire, Self-acceptance, transformation, Yoga

A Yogi’s Journey to Self-Acceptance

Accepting ourselves for who we are can often be challenging; sometimes it can seem impossible.

When Erica Jenkins took up yoga it was her desire for physical transformation that helped her find her way to the mat. But through regular practice it was not only her body but also her mind that transformed. Thank you Erica, for sharing your story with us.

“Yoga is a practice that leads to personal growth and change. Lots of people, myself included, came to yoga as a way of bettering ourselves – be it physically, mentally or spiritually. Personally, the promise of bettering my health and body were what brought me to the mat.

The idea of losing the weight, finding strength, flexibility and building muscle were the big draws and what I felt I needed most. And in a way that is true. Being 224lbs was not healthy – I was basically suffocating my organs in weight that was a burden to carry, both physically and mentally. I was obsessed with how “terrible” my cellulite and stretch marks were – so much so that it would consume my thoughts some days. How was I twenty years old and this out of shape? How could I hate my reflection so much while trying to love the person inside it?

Stepping on a mat was very intimidating but I was determined. Taking classes allowed me to learn quickly and with dedication, the weight started to come off. But what happened next was far more important and definitely the best outcome of finding my practice – my mind started to change.

I wasn’t all of a sudden “skinny” or “fit” by any means, but I was so much stronger. I’d start to hold myself in postures I never thought possible, coming into arm balances and inversions with more stability and sureness with each day. I lost the feeling of daily sluggishness, had more energy and became more confident in trying new things – both on and off the mat.

Yoga allowed me to grow, to change, to transform – a place where I learned to love myself fully.

I started to love my body for what it could do, not how it looked. The stretch marks remained from the weight but my outlook on them changed – what I once used to hide I’ve now flaunted, wearing clothing I never thought I’d feel comfortable in. My focus came off “do I look fat/have muffin top” etc and became – “do I love it/want to wear it?!” What once consumed my life has now become an afterthought.

Yoga allowed me to grow, to change, to transform – a place where I learned to love myself fully.

My mat became a second home – a part of my every day routine. It has been a place that has taken many face plants, falls and stumbles, experienced breakthroughs and breakdowns and allowed me to find myself.

The part of me that would not allow me to love myself was lost along the way and transformed into self-confidence and self-discovery. I came to yoga to lose weight but ended up gaining so much more in the end. And I wouldn’t change that for the world”

Erica Jenkins is a  Yogini who has helped inspire thousands of aspiring Yogis and Yoginis around the world, through sharing her own practice and transformational experiences with her fans and followers online.

You can find out more about Erica and her yoga journey on her Instagram account @getfityogagirl

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