This guest post is from Kate.
A year ago I was pretty down on myself. My skin was playing up and thanks to a stressful year of uni I’d gained a little weight. When I met people I didn’t like looking them in the eyes, because I was afraid of the judgment I would see there. I knew I needed to get out of the rut I was in, but how? I knew that if I didn’t love myself there was no chance of believing others when they said they loved me.
A friend convinced me to join the gym with her and looking back that was a turning point for me. I went to a yoga class and fell in love. After a long day at uni, with a head filled with new knowledge and theories, it was lovely to spend an hour winding down before going home. Yoga became a highlight of my week, and soon I was going to classes three times a week.
One of my favourite poses in yoga is savasana, the relaxation pose. In this pose you are encouraged to become as relaxed as possible, your mind free from thought and your body loose and limber. Often instructors provide Sanskrit mantras for students to focus on in order to allow for a deeper meditation. I could never connect with these mantras, however, and my mind would never completely still.
A couple of months ago, in a moment of self-love, I decided that my own personal mantra would be I am beautiful. During savasana on every in-breath I would concentrate on I am and on the out-breath beautiful. For ten minutes a day, three times a week my inner voice would repeat the phrase hundreds of times… I am beautiful, I am beautiful, I am beautiful. After a while I stopped ignoring that voice and started to listen to it.
After yoga this morning I went to the change room and looked, really looked, at myself in the mirror. The person I saw there is not perfect, but her imperfections are what makes her, her. She does not have a supermodel body, but her body is healthy and strong. She is kind and intelligent and you know what else? She IS beautiful.