by: Kelsey Norten
For many, yoga is not simply a form of physical exercise or an activity that gets checked off the list solely for the purpose of breaking a sweat. For a true practitioner, our yoga mat is where we seek refuge, the place we come to get quiet, be still and connect with our greater purpose. For many women, it’s also the place where we feel most empowered.
This International Women’s Day, women all over the world are thinking about what it means to feel empowered. For a lot of us, it means speaking your truth, without fear of consequence. It may also mean unapologetically taking time for yourself, aka “self-care," which doesn’t always feel easy for those who are mothers, partners, sisters, daughters, business owners or friends. Lastly, empowerment for many women looks like going after what you want in life, and not falling subject to the suggestions or “shoulds” women so often hear from external sources.
Lots of us have discovered the strength to go after these things and own our empowerment through the practice of yoga. This unique practice encourages us to come to our mats as we are – beginner, expert or anywhere in-between. There’s no expectation to be the most flexible in the room, or nail a perfect arm balance. And while the practice can often be physical and challenging, we’re simply told to breathe. To breathe through whatever uncomfortableness arises while twisting ourselves into a pretzel-like posture, knowing that it will only last for a few short moments. And it’s this practice of breathing through challenges on our mats that teaches us how to do the same off our mats and in our daily lives. And when we know we can handle anything that comes our way through the power of the mind and breath – that's true empowerment.
We’re grateful to have a team of amazing female Gaiambassadors who continually inspire us to be empowered and to be the best versions of ourselves possible. Below a few of them shared their thoughts on this subject of yoga and female empowerment in honor of International Women’s Day – take a look!
- Amanda Huggins aka @anxietytoempowerment
- Cat Golden aka @nineliveshealth
- Malikah Kelly aka @malikahkelly
- Adrianna Naomi aka @adriannanaomi
Read on to learn why size really does not matter on the mat, or anywhere else for that matter!