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Simran: A Body Worthy of Belonging

Prior to YTT, I have never worn just a sports bra outside of a bathroom or my bedroom. I have issues with how my midsection looks. I feel big and bloated and disproportionate and definitely not yogi-like.

Then again, what does it mean to be yogi-like? What does it mean to have a body worthy of belonging to the yoga community? Slender and svelte? Slim? Flexible? No love handles? I guess I had conjured up my own definition for it, and it definitely wasn’t what I thought my body was like.

Every weekend, my YTT mates would remove their tops to do their asanas in their leggings and their sports bras and I would always secretly marvel at their confidence to do so. I clung to my tshirts like they were my lifeline, despite the heat and the perspiration and the fact that my tshirts’ neck-openings would fall open and attempt to suffocate me every time I was in the downward dog pose.

On a particular day, we were taking individual photos of ourselves while doing poses. I had taken 2 photos with my tshirt on but I began wondering what it would be like to take one in just my sports bra and my leggings (especially given that I was wearing a chilli red sports bra and it made me feel like fiyaaah). I turned to my YTT mate, Nia, and asked her if I should remove my tshirt. She said ‘why don’t you want to do it?’ and I told her that I didn’t feel good about my tummy area. And she said ‘if you just wear your sports bra, you’ll be able to represent other women who have bodies like yours’.

It got me thinking that one of the reasons I have issues with my body is because I don’t see many people with such a body in the yogasphere and that maybe, just maybe, if I had seen people that looked like me then I would feel better. Perhaps?

Well, I’m glad Nia said that to me because I decided to remove my shirt (and my YTT mates whooped and cheered, which both embarrassed and emboldened me *insert finger heart*) because this time I felt like I had a worthy reason – to make just 1 other person with a body like mine to see that it’s okay. We don’t have to cover ourselves up due to our insecurities.

I’m still insecure, but I feel myself being less constrained by it. Now, if I’m really feeling hot and sweaty, I’ll just remove my shirt. Let the world see my bumps and rolls. If yoga can accept them, I can too.

RYT200 Aug’20 Weekend