Look Into Your Own Eyes

I recently read the book “Women, Food, And God” by Geneen Roth. In it, several women spoke about their daily eating habits and I could not believe how many of them talked about how much they hated themselves after a day of binging. How low is low? What’s rock bottom? It doesn’t have to be smashing up your car or losing your job. For me, rock bottom is when you come to the point of self hatred.

Three years ago I made a life change where I went from self hatred (or close to it) to self love. I’m not talking about egotism. I’m talking about self love, loving myself. Caring what I did to my body, my mind, my spirit. What guided me through this transition was mainly a (close to) daily practice of hot yoga.

What drew me to this particular type of yoga was the dialogue. The teacher didn’t always demonstrate, she inspired us through her words. One of her most inspiring phrases was “look into your own eyes.” I try to bring it into my classes now at Dragonfly when I teach.

I think it’s tough for a lot of women (men too, for that matter) to look in the mirror into their own eyes without judgement. There’s always something to fix, flatten, suck in, push out. But at Dragonfly, it doesn’t matter how you look. We’re all sweaty, red-faced messes. Here, we look into our own eyes and see the power, the strength and the courage it takes to show up to class and bring ourselves into the hot room.

Some of the advice author Geneen Roth gave the women was for them to look into the mirror, into their own eyes and forgive and love themselves. What a gift that piece of advice is. So easily said, yet so difficult to do. Try it. Go to the mirror. Look at yourself in the mirror, and into your own eyes say to yourself, I love you.

Hot yoga class can be a bit difficult, overwhelming, infuriating even, and grimacing at yourself doesn’t really help much. A deep breath and a sultry little smile can make all the difference in the world.

Hey there, good lookin’. I see you trying to do that head to knee standing pose. You know what? You’re a sexy little thing. I bet you can straighten that leg all the way. There you go! Aren’t you something special?

It’s amazing what this can open up for you. Look into your own eyes and give yourself that Mona Lisa smile, flirt with yourself. See the beauty inside you. See your power. See your strength.


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One Comment on “Look Into Your Own Eyes

  1. Love this post Natalie. In my healing work, I teach concepts very close to Geneen Roth and she was one of my first teachers. Wouldn’t it be great if we WERE taught self-love instead of judgment, self-confidence instead of criticism, and self-determination (motivation) instead of looking outside ourselves for our path? Where can we learn that? Well, I learned a lot of it on the mat!

    I’ll share my favorite quote from this book. It’s “love life without the story, you without your past.” In the moment, there is no story, no past, no reason not to love yourself.

    See you at Dragonfly!

    Pat Barone, MCC

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