Body acceptance and mindful self-care are two essential aspects of our overall well-being. In a recent interview, We had the privilege of speaking with Smithy, an experienced yoga instructor and advocate for embracing our bodies as they are. Smithy shared valuable insights on the importance of honoring our bodies and practicing self-care. Join me as we delve into the conversation and discover the power of self-acceptance and self-awareness.
Meeting Yourself Where You’re At
Smithy emphasized the significance of meeting ourselves where we are in our own bodies. Each day, our bodies may feel different, and it’s crucial to respect and listen to their needs. Smithy expressed, “If you’re going to force your body to do things it doesn’t want or isn’t capable of doing, you’re going to injure it. You have to live in your body, so why not practice for your own body the way it is today?”
As a yoga instructor, Smithy understands the pressures of societal beauty standards. “I know that I’m intimidating,” Smithy acknowledged. “I’m tall, thin, muscular because I do yoga, and yes, I’m a white woman. But I don’t want anyone to be intimidated and think they have to look like me. I want them to look like themselves.”
Embracing the Nervous System
Our conversation then shifted to the topic of the nervous system and its impact on our mental and physical well-being. Smithy highlighted the growing interest in understanding and caring for our nervous system. “Our body is holding on to stuff,” Smithy explained. “Our brain may not always be aware of it. We must care for and love our bodies. Engaging in self-care practices like sleeping, eating well, and movement helps us respond rather than react impulsively.”
Smithy further stressed the importance of developing self-awareness and being responsive in the moment. By recognizing our triggers, we can evaluate our responses and choose how we want to react. “It’s about taking a beat or two, understanding our nervous system’s reaction, and deciding how we want to respond,” Smithy stated. “This process helps us rewire our neural pathways and build healthier ways of engaging with the world.”
The Journey of Self-Awareness
Throughout our conversation, Smithy emphasized that the journey of self-awareness and self-care is ongoing. It requires consistent effort and a commitment to our well-being. By practicing body acceptance, respecting our bodies’ boundaries, and nurturing our nervous systems, we can cultivate a healthier relationship with ourselves and those around us.
Smithy and I concluded our interview feeling invigorated by our discussion. Smithy’s passion for body acceptance, self-care, and self-awareness left a lasting impression. It is remarkable to witness the transformation that occurs when individuals embrace and honor their bodies, both physically and emotionally.
Body acceptance and mindful self-care are not overnight processes; they are lifelong commitments. Let us follow in the footsteps of Smithy and embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. By meeting ourselves where we are, embracing our nervous systems, and nurturing our bodies, we can create positive change and live more fulfilling lives.
Thank you to Smithy for sharing your wisdom and insights. May your words inspire others to embark on their own journey of body acceptance and mindful self-care.
A 22-year Las Vegas resident, originally from snowy Toronto, Canada (talk about a change), Smithy discovered yoga late in her professional dance career when she realized her body wasn’t loving the stage life as much as she did. What originally started as a method to strengthen and maintain her body—and hopefully reverse some of the damage dancing had done—became a deep love of the practice.
So when Smithy was offered the chance to attend yoga teacher training, she rolled up her mat and leapt in feet first. Training taught her there was so much more to yoga than she ever thought, and she couldn’t wait to share the practice with others in a meaningful and approachable way. Soon after completing her yoga teacher training, Smithy became fascinated with the nervous system in relation to grief, trauma, and stress and dove deep into the vital role yoga plays in the process of moving through difficult experiences and rebalancing the nervous system. Today, she loves nothing more than helping others heal, restore, rebalance, and tap into the power of play through the practice of yoga. When she’s not on her mat, she’s most likely snuggling her two fur babies, Zoey and Bob or enthusiastically watching a hockey game (go knights go!).