I am fascinated by women’s bodies. Wonderfully rounded, capable of growing life within and generating amazing works of art. Perfectly conceived, they are a source of great, multiple pleasures and deep inner wisdom. Mysteriously created, able to bleed monthly, they engender knowledgeable thoughts and reveal inspiring intuitions.
It took me many years, pains and joys before starting to appreciate the beauty of my female body. The memories I have of my childhood and adolescence are about shame about my shape, embarrassment, desire to hide my curves, to change them, aspirations to be perfect like the perfect girls on the TV.
One day I asked myself: do I respect my feminine body? And I realized that I had never learnt to do it. At school, at home, at the gym, in the street, nobody ever taught me to know my physical body and to love it.
And then Yoga came.
When I started practicing yoga, I learnt that my physical body is my home, my temple. I had received it as a gift to live my life and its possibilities in the best way. I began to appreciate its true value, its mysteries and powers. I understood that it is my only responsibility to take care of my body so that it can accompany me throughout my existence, with health and joy.
I had to abandon the gender-based beliefs and restrictions that I had accumulated in the past. I felt very sorry about all the bad words I spoke to myself. I practiced forgiveness to create a space for self-love and acceptance where I could let a positive body image to emerge.
So many cultural conditionings influence the relation of girls and women with their bodies. We are so used to images of sexualised women that we don’t question it. We have normalized the idea that women are passive sexual objects that we accept daily acts of violence against women, objectification and deprivation of the female body.
Gender stereotypes are so intrinsically present in our daily life and they get absorbed by young girls and boys in different educational contexts and through the media. Many girls grow up regarding skinny, epilated, plastic and passive supermodels, and they try to imitate their eternal perfection during their adolescence, and beyond. As a consequence, they grow in disconnection and misconnection with their natural cyclical beauty.
I believe there is an urgent need to propose new models that are examples of diversity and self-love for the future generations. We can choose to abandon embarrassment and shame for what we are and just be what we are. Our body is part of our beauty, we can choose to show it in the world with dignity, pride and respect for our flesh and our bones.
We need to be strong and united to break the cultural limitations imposed on women. We need to cultivate and nurture a deep connection with ourselves and recognize our beauty and uniqueness.