So, I was on my mat the other day, just practicing in my bedroom and taking photos on self-timer with my phone. (Typical afternoon, right? :)
After about ten tries, I managed to capture this kick-ass handstand.
I posted it on Instagram and was surprised by how many people clicked 'like' and left encouraging comments.
And then I looked at it again, more closely. And for a moment I could really see the strength, my strength. I felt proud of my progress, and proud of how strong my body is.
And I realized something.
There's a really important reason that I love documenting my practice, and going on adventurous yoga photo shoots.
It's because afterward there's a very sacred moment of actually being able to see myself for how strong and capable I am.
I love collaborating with photographers to create art. That's a huge part of it, too.
But there is also this deep connection I develop with myself through these images.
Sometimes there is this moment where my whole being says YES, and I catch a glimpse of the sacred energy of my practice.
Instead of the little voice in my head that doubts or sees my flaws or is harsh and judgmental, I can spend a moment appreciating myself. Feeling into my strength. Feeling beautiful. And acknowledging the amount of work I put toward keeping my body fit and healthy.
So, if you're struggling to see yourself as you are -- beautiful, capable, strong -- maybe take a moment to step back.
Take a closer look. Notice what you feel.
You are already all of those things.
And notice how, in the moment when you can feel your own strength, and you step into your power, others start to lean in, and notice too.
Handstand photo by me, Photo (2) by Kate Donaldson, Photo (3) by Brynna Bryant.