Ashley, Florida:

As a 30 year old overweight woman I consistently ask myself, am I good enough? What you cannot see in this picture is a person who is often uncomfortable in their own skin, who has never felt good enough for much. I don’t share pictures of myself often much less revealing ones.

I started yoga over 10 years ago as a workout for ice hockey training. I went haphazardly and only when I could get a free week here and there. I had no clue what I was doing but I loved it and was complemented on my flexibility so I kept up with it. I felt the strength on my mat I only had ever felt on the ice. Something always told me to pursue it further. Recently, I was fortunate enough to be able to complete Yoga Teacher Training where I learned about yoga but also about myself.

I learned that yoga is a practice. Meaning: I don’t have to nail a pose on the first second or even thousanth try to be worthy. Through practice, I’ve learned to accept my body and to be present in it instead of always wishing I was someone else. I feel strong now, and I have a sense of self. I actually feel my body, instead of just being ashamed by it. Yoga has provided me with a beautiful community of friends and people I love to watch grow and be proud of. It is love, positive energy and inspiration.

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