Yoga Changed My Life
Being aware is the first step to making changes. I was not aware of how I treated my body and myself until I learned to tune in to my body and my thoughts. Yoga allowed me to do so in a safe space. It empowered me to dig deep and find the truth. It is not a religion, but a philosophy, a way of being present. Yoga teaches self-love and we cannot love others when we do not accept or love ourselves. Contrary to popular beliefs, self-love doesn't mean being selfish. I think the best way to describe yoga philosophy is the word "Namaste": a greeting that means "the divine in me sees and respects the divine in you." In yoga, all are equal.
It doesn't preach that one faith or religion is better than another. Everyone is a spiritual being having a human experience. We are not our bodies or our thoughts. Often, our culture, the media and the society wants us to buy in to the lies that are perpetuated by the old Domination Model. In fact, that model is detrimental to our health and well-being. Women are conditioned to believe that their self-worth is tied to how they look. We celebrate and value "beautiful" women as seen in ads on all types of media. Those women are thin, often too thin. Most of them are still Caucasians, most of them die their hair, have lots of makeup and wear body revealing clothes, tiny bikinis or no clothes at all. Be aware of all the ways media try to control your thinking. They want you to buy in to the lies that you are lacking in some way, that you need to buy this or that to feel and look better. Be aware of the ways media uses to desensitize, dupe and mind-wash you.
I stopped eating and shopping mindlessly when I grew aware of the Big Lies. I wanted to change and help others do so too. When I started Yoga in the Park, I wanted to share it with people out of love, but it wasn't sustaining me. I grew discouraged and stopped. When I began to write my book, I wanted to share what I learned from yoga and make a bigger difference. I wrote many chapters and worked hard on getting it published. I enrolled in a "Get Your Book Published" program, but got no support. I felt like I was wasting my time and money. I got angry at the person who ran the program, but didn't say anything. My mom taught me that if I don't have anything good to say, then say nothing. "Bite your tongue". Only, I internalized it and my anger led to a long hiatus from writing. 
I've always been artistic and creative. I loved to draw as a kid and often doodles in class. I wanted to be an artist or cartoonist but I was discouraged by my parents and my high school art teacher. They told me I wasn't good enough to make money as an artist. "Starving artist and writer" are terms thrown at me from an impressionable young age that I bought into the lie. Another lie is that unless you make a lot of money, you are not successful. All the famous artists and authors make plenty of money. That is how they are valued. You're a failure if your work doesn't sell. B.S! That's why I love to blog. I don't have to rely on traditional publishers to share my love of writing and the lessons that I've learned from yoga. There are many lies that we buy into. The Beauty and Weight Loss industries make billions of dollars of people like us who bought into their messages. Declare a Buy Nothing Day. Buy only what is essential for survival like food.
Here's a song that I created based on a children's song:
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Face, body, heart and soul, heart and soul
I love every part of me.
Sing it a few times and give yourself this gift of love.

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Comment by Joy Lewis on May 26, 2017 at 2:09pm

Thank you for sharing Ingrid! 

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