Saturday, February 4, 2012

ok, it's time to get real

for a while now, i’ve been flirting with the idea of really fusing my love of yoga more completely with my concept of lifestyle design but didn’t know exactly how to approach it.  i guess i was hesitant to lay it all on the line and then get pigeon-holed into talking about the same stuff over and over. again  in need of some guidance, i reached out to anna, founder of curvy yoga with my question: how important is having a niche to define and build your brand?  to my delight, not only did she respond to my inquiry, but she also offered to talk over the phone to discuss it even further.

credit {here}

anna reassured me that having a niche – in her case, yoga for your body, no matter your size – only helps to expand your presence.  by creating a voice and defining your topic, you become the “expert”, and you can then draw from your experience to further connect with your audience – something i long to do on a grander scale.

with her advice to share more heart-to-hearts, i’ve decided to take the leap and commit to the idea that’s been haunting me (in a good way) for some time: to share my transformation – from a girl who hated her body to a young woman who not only loves but appreciates her being, inside and out (most of the time – we’re all a work-in-progress). 

afraid that things would get too serious and that i wouldn’t have the proper advice to offer, i’ve continually shied away from getting too deep on lifestyle maven.  but, the truth is, the stuff that i didn’t want to talk about is the very stuff that we, as women, need to hear, because when it comes to ourselves, we so easily forget to treat our bodies with kindness.  instead of trusting our bodies' innate wisdom, we ignore it, preferring to harp on the notion that they are too big, too small, not curvy enough or too flabby. somewhere along the line we’ve come to believe that berating and punishing ourselves with our thoughts, actions and with the way we treat food will accomplish something.  but we’re too smart to continue to believe that – we’ve been there and know deep down that hating ourselves will never bring about a truly positive change.  constrained by never-ending diets, general self-loathing or, in the most extreme situations, an eating or body-dysmorphic disorder, we make our lives small – not our bodies.  with the first-hand knowledge that these negative thoughts plague the minds of so many women, no matter their age or dress size, i feel i can no longer deny the need to share, encourage and support through the platform that i’ve developed – my blog.

growing up as a sometimes slightly-overweight, sometimes “normal” weight girl was rough – not because i was teased relentlessly (although i had my fair share of weight-related comments that stung), but because i tortured myself.  i was consumed by my weight and full-heartedly felt that if i could only weigh less, i would be infinitely happier.  somehow i believed that the smaller the size i wore, the more happiness i would be allotted.  but, in case you didn’t guess where this was headed, it doesn’t work like that.  true happiness has no correlation with the circumference of your waist, and no matter what size you are, you can still have “fat days”.

so, what gives?  if you hate yourself when you’re “fat”, and are still at war with your body after you’ve achieved a normal weight or are even thin, then happiness must come from somewhere else.  {light bulb moment.}  just when i had myself convinced that i would have to count calories and forever do exercises i hated just to maintain my weight, yoga came into my life.  i admit, i was initially drawn to the practice because it was a good workout – but it soon turned into something more.  something beautiful.  i found that through the yogic practice of linking movement with breath, i began to experience my body in a new way – caring more about how my body felt, and less about how it looked.  yoga puts you in touch with your intuition – that authentic voice that we override with diets and negative self-talk.  and, the more in-touch i got with my true self, the more i softened my tight grip on what i “should eat” or “shouldn’t eat” or “should do” or “shouldn’t do” in terms of exercise, and the more effortless maintaining my weight – and my happiness – became.

my yoga practice has enabled me to tap into my inner wisdom and consequently bring more mindfulness and awareness into my life as a whole.  when we are conscious of the subtle needs of our being, we are more able to fully embody our authentic selves and move away from our ego – that crazy voice that tells us that we’re fat, unworthy or unlovable.  and, we begin to cultivate a calm mind housed in a healthy body.

i invite you to join me on this journey of self-exploration. i know, without a doubt, that yoga and intuitive living can change your life and begin to release you from the negative thoughts, feelings and self-talk that continue to infiltrate your life.  i know this, because yoga has transformed my life for the better.


  1. What a beautiful post, Cailen. Thank you so much for sharing your story -- and inspiring us along the way. Can't wait to see how this journey continues to unfold!

  2. Great post Cailen! I know you'll succeed!

  3. I am really enjoying all of these articles! Great work.


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