You won’t find a before and after photo in this post. In fact, with MerryBody we don’t do before and afters. We have shared our own physical transformation stories a few times on this platform but we have learned, slowly but surely, that this form of storytelling is inspired by diet culture.
Diet culture being something we absolutely want no part in.
The before and after post says…
Look how great I am, now, that I’ve lost weight!
Look how much better I am, now that I have changed the shape of my body and my body weight!
Look how clean my eating habits are now. Before, I was so bad with what I ate!
Look at how this version of me is more beautiful, more accepted.
But really… none of these are true and they are just some of the underlying messages that a before and after photo sends.
We spoke to our friend and Clinical Psychologist, Miriam Emad, about the dangers of before and after photos for mental health and if you’re still on the fence regarding before and afters, then we encourage you to tune in.
So this post is not about before and afters regarding our bodies or weight loss… however, it is about how Yoga can help you move through life, potentially with less stress, less monkey mind and more flow (there really are so many benefits of Yoga!).
This is not about How Yoga Changed My Body Before and After… it’s about the ‘before and ahhh, now I feel amazing!’
Do you like what we’ve done here?
Quite simply, Yoga is a mental and physical practice.
The Yoga poses you do in a Yoga class on your mat, are called Asana and this is only one aspect of the Yoga practice itself.
There are many types of Yoga. Some styles feel like aerobic exercise and are high intensity (think Vinyasa, Hot Yoga, Power Yoga and Ashtanga… we promise you’ll sweat haha!), others are slower and restorative (think Yin and slow flow).
A regular Yoga practice can obviously make changes to your physical body. Just like any form of exercise can. If you started doing Yoga every day and you weren’t doing Yoga before then of course you’ll see change.
After a month of Yoga every single day you’ll probably feel that your core strength has improved, your flexibility and range of motion may increase, your overall endurance will improve and yes, you may develop muscle tone and might lose weight. All those downward facing dogs are gonna do that…
We share more about the physical changes you may experience from Yoga here.
But what about the before and after that happens immediately, what about the mental benefits? We are talking about how you can walk onto your Yoga mat feeling one way and walk off your mat feeling completely different.
To us, that is pretty damn amazing. The fact that you can use your Yoga practice as a tool to help you move through life. A Yoga practice can be something that you turn to in moments of stress and overwhelm… it can also be a practice you turn to in moments of joy.
You see, what Yoga really does is it brings you into the present moment. It encourages you, if only for a moment every day or a few times a week, to stop over analyzing the past and to stop fretting about the future. This practice anchors you into the present moment so you can fully experience life and so you can fully experience yourself.
It is a practice that encourages and amplifies self awareness.
With MerryBody Yoga and Pilates, we combine movement with the mindset work of self acceptance, self belief and joy.
Every time you press play on a MerryBody class, every time you take that first deep breath in to begin, you are planting a seed of self acceptance.
Every movement and every breath from that moment on, is nurturing and nourishing that seed.
The final deep breath at the end, seals your intention and allows all of the goodness you create during your MerryBody practice, to settle into your heart, mind and body.
Our favourite before and after for you to experience would be to go from thinking you need to change in order to be worthy… to realising and remembering that actually you are amazing, just as you are, right here and right now.
If that sounds like something you’d like to experience, then head on over to this Free Yoga class we have available for you. It’s under 20 minutes and it will stretch your chest and shoulders leaving you feeling amazing inside and out.
Emma and Carla
P.s if you’ve ever thought about Yoga Teacher Training and becoming a Yoga instructor yourself… check this out.