Many women get stuck resenting their bodies, sometimes for no real reason (though plenty of imagined ones). We’re here to show you how to beat the negative self-talk and start looking and feeling great.

1. Friends Can Bring Each Other Down, or Hold Each Other Up

According to Robyn Silverman (Ph.D., body image expert and author of Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls) women who talk to their girlfriends about their body in a negative manner create an increasingly negative feedback loop. She says that if one woman points out how fat or ugly she feels, other female friends feel like they need to reply in kind, lowering their own body image.

Silverman suggests dealing with the problem by simply stating that as intellectual, wonderful and creative women (you can add more superlatives…) it’s incredible you are discussing your bodies in a negative light. By doing so you can put an end to discussion and move onto topics like what’s great about being a woman, or about you two in particular.

If that doesn’t work and your friend(s) keep pointing out how ugly, fat or skinny they feel, simply tell them you aren’t comfortable discussing that with them, as you’d prefer talking about the good things in each other.

2. It’s Not About You, It’s About Them

Most women wouldn’t feel so bad about their bodies if they stopped thinking about what others think about them. After all, is it your perception of your thighs that bugs you, or what you think others think about your thighs that get you down?

Hector Hill, a bartender in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, suggests you start paying attention to others instead of yourself. When you socialize or spend time with someone you are dating, pay attention to them. Chances are they would love for you to truly listen to them and be with them, rather than worry about what they think about your thighs. If anything, they are probably wondering what you think about their abs…

3. Look After Your Body

If you eat well, sleep well, exercise and spend time outdoors, you know you are really treating your body as best as you can. Add to that a few massages, natural body products and time set aside for a mani-pedi and you are really spoiling your body.

When you have peace of mind you are doing everything you can to look after yourself, it’s kind of hard to argue that you could be any better.

4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Airbrushed Images

Spending a lot of time in Los Angeles myself and having done several photo shoots I know all about airbrushing. I know how certain movies are edited to make actors’ skin look better (I kid you not – some actors have it as a requirement). And I’ve done enough photography myself to know that my models can look both great and appalling – it all depends on how I catch them, including the light.

I’m sure you’ve seen photos of yourself where you look as mad as a hatter, because you squinted or pulled a face just as the photo was taken. In real life no one would have seen this, as it was a quick movement, but the camera caught mid-action. Professional photography is the same thing, only the opposite way around: photographers catch people when they pull just the right face, in the exact right angle to make them look great.

Film and photography are art forms – you are looking to capture a person in an angle which makes them shine. You use the right clothes, make-up and light to bring out their features. And sometimes you enhance it further with airbrushing. Look upon photos and films you see as paintings – they don’t necessarily show a true reflection of what people look like in real life.

5. Stop the Negative Self-Talk

Try wearing a bracelet and every time you think something negative about your body, you have to change the bracelet to the other hand. Also, you immediately have to think about something you appreciate about your body and you as a person in general.

This will make you aware of your own self-talk and allow for you to change it. Often we are so used to thinking certain thoughts we actually don’t even notice we are thinking them.

6. The Attitude of Gratitude

Without your body you wouldn’t be able to move. Isn’t your body pretty amazing? Doesn’t it deserve some love and kindness for helping you live?

Gratitude became a famous concept much thanks to the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Another of her books, The Magic, is all about gratitude. In it she suggests you keep a journal of things you are thankful for. Why not start one for your body too? Every day write down something you are thankful for about your body.

7. It’s All About Attitude

Marilyn Monroe famously said she had to “put it on” to be noticed. She wasn’t talking about make-up. No, she talked about attitude. Your attitude changes how you see yourself and how others see you.

The very famous Marilyn Monroe could walk down a street unnoticed, but when she put on the right attitude, suddenly everyone noticed her. Her looks didn’t change. Her attitude did.

Likewise, think about the people you are the most attracted to. Is it their looks, or that “something” they have? Personally I don’t think Joaquin Phoenix is very good looking, but in the movie Walk the Line I think he’s hot.

It’s all about attitude. About personality. And if you doubt it check out Sean Stephenson – a man who is physically disabled, but who still found a way to love himself. And yes, he found a wonderful woman who loves him too. Ain’t he lucky?

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Yoga offers a lot of amazing benefits: a healthy body, a calm mind, and a positive self-image to name just a few. But many wannabe yogis are sabotaging the potential for a powerful practice by committing these three common mistakes. Make sure you’re not one of them.

Mistake 1: Huffing and Puffing

The physical side of yoga is a dance between challenging ourselves and honoring the limitations of the body. Deep, rhythmic yogic breathing signifies that we’ve mastered this dance. On the other end of the spectrum, huffing and puffing are telltale signs that we’ve pushed ourselves too far.

The breath serves as a perfect system to measure our level of exertion; whether in a yoga class or during any other form of exercise. Is it smooth, causing the belly to expand, and flowing through the nose? Great. Then we haven’t pushed too hard. But if we have to inhale forcefully, if the breath is only reaching the upper body, or if we have to breath through our mouth, then we’ve overexerted ourselves.

If we don’t heed to our huffing and puffing and instead push on, we’re missing the whole point of asanas (yoga postures). Patanjali, the great forefather of classical yoga, taught yogis in his Yoga Sutras that “perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.” The ability to relax in an asana develops steadiness of mind, and steadiness of mind is exactly what we need to progress in our yoga practice.

The second we fall into bad breathing habits we need to back off. Balasana (child’s pose) and savasana (corpse pose) are two perfect postures for giving the body a mid-class mini-rest. Pausing in these poses allows the breath and heart rate to return to normal, and gives the body a chance to pay back oxygen debt.

Mistake 2: Competing in Class

When we’re surrounded by other yogis it’s easy to get caught up in the ego’s drama. If the girl next to us is in a gravity-defying arm balance while we can barely touch our toes, it’s hard not to compare ourselves. Add all of the bendy bikini-clad yoga beauties on social media into the picture, and yoga feels more like a competition to weave ourselves into pretzels than a spiritual mission.

But this is certainly not the spirit of yoga. Yoga has absolutely nothing to do with competition. It’s about one person only: yourself.

Yoga is a tool for self-betterment. It’s a practice that’s meant to be individualized because we all progress at a different rate. It’s not about how many advanced poses we can do or how good our booty looks in yoga pants. It’s not about who in class can hold the longest handstand, either.

Instead, it’s about taming the ego. Getting over competition. Understanding that we are doing this practice to grow; physically, mentally and spiritually.

We can overcome the temptation to compare by accepting other yogis as our technical teachers. If they’re in an arm balance that we’ve yet to figure out, we can observe their method to emulate later rather than perceiving their dexterity as competition. And if this is too difficult, we can simply keep our eyes on our own mat, or close them altogether.

As we grow, our competitive edge gradually fades and we appreciate yoga for what it really is.

Mistake 3: Skipping Savasana

Savasana (corpse pose) is arguably the most important yoga posture. Cutting class early or even just mentally skipping out during savasana robs us of all its yummy benefits, rendering our yoga practice incomplete.

Resting in savasana has a few main purposes: it gives the heart and breath rate a chance to return to normal, it allows lactic acid buildup to be released, it enables newly unblocked prana to free-flow throughout the body, and it relieves any physical stress that we’ve acquired during practice (especially if we’ve been huffing and puffing!) In matters of the mind, savasana improves our focus and concentration, which makes for better meditation.

Savasana is not a yoga nap time but a chance to seal in all the benefits of our practice. Although many students make this mistake, we shouldn’t cut class as soon as the teacher dims the lights and puts on her mellow savasana music.

This is our cue to get comfortable and relax. It’s our chance to give the body and mind much-needed rest by observing and releasing tension and simply watching the breath. A few solid minutes here and our yoga practice is officially complete.

Check in every now and again to see if you’re making any of these three common yoga mistakes. Are you huffing and puffing, comparing yourself to the yogi next to you, or letting your mind drift in savasana? Stopping these bad habits will transform your yoga practice into one that is beautifully beneficial.

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Although easier said than done, practicing detachment is the key to preventing disappointment and ending the emotional battle between us and the universe.

Before learning the art of detachment, we must first understand what it means to be attached. We’re all guilty of attachment; it’s a normal human emotion. We easily get attached to people; boyfriends, girlfriends, best friends, and parents, for example. We get attached to money, status, our self-image, our beauty, our youth. We even get attached to our expectations of the future.

We live as if these people, objects and notions are permanent fixtures in our lives and our own stability depends on them.

What we fail to realize is that all of these entities are impermanent. They go away at some point or another. Relationships end, money’s spent, youth fades. If we attach ourselves to the ephemeral, we set ourselves up for heartache, confusion, and disappointment when things don’t go as planned.

Detachment, on the other hand, is the art of realizing that everything is impermanent. It is a continual, never-ending practice of relinquishing attachment to a false sense of security and the deceptive promise of everlasting happiness. It is the art of understanding the nature of the universe and learning to live in its flow, rather than continuously fighting against it.

Once we learn how to practice detachment, we can move beyond what feels safe or familiar and open ourselves to the unknown. Without rigid expectations of the future we’re able to hold space for life’s infinite potential.

With detachment in practice, we know that life will present its problems. But we also know with certainty that within every problem there is an opportunity. We’re able to get through potentially life-shattering breakups and losses knowing that some day we’ll look back at them with gratitude, as without these obstacles some great moment or opportunity never would have manifested.

Detachment is an extremely powerful practice. But it’s one that comes with self-work and a desire to evolve. It’s a daily commitment to living in the present and relinquishing rigid attachment to the future.

In his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra suggests that we embrace the following attitude to teach us the art of detachment:

“Today I will commit myself to detachment. I will allow myself and those around me the freedom to be as they are. I will not rigidly impose my idea of how things should be. I will not force solutions on problems, thereby creating new problems. I will participate in everything with detached involvement.” (p. 91)

Note the phrase “detached involvement”. Detachment is not the same as disconnecting, as some people fear. When you practice detachment you are still able to love, to work toward goals, and to enjoy life’s pleasures. You are still connected to life’s pulse but you appreciate and accept its impermanence.

Embrace detachment and you will find harmony with the ways of the universe; now and anytime life presents you with a “problem”. You’ll come to see that problems are not reason for disappointment, but opportunities in disguise.

Reference: Chopra, Deepak. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Amber-Allen Publishing New World Library, 1994.

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Every moment is filled with divinity and every day is sacred. We are integrally connected to the cosmic rhythms of each moment and each day; as much a part of nature as nature itself.

Reminding ourselves of our own spiritual existence is a moment-to-moment practice called sadhana.
Cultivating a daily sadhana helps us to live fully in the present, to awaken to our purpose in life, and as Bri. Maya Tiwari so beautifully puts it, to nourish “an alliance with nature’s rhythms”.

Sadhana is like meditation in motion. It’s the act of being mindful of the present.

Our daily sadhanas don’t need to be grandiose; hours spent in meditation or days living with monks are absolutely not required. Sadhana can be something as simple as walking barefoot in the grass or saying a prayer before meals.

These ten mindfulness practices can all be part of a daily sadhana. They keep us tuned in to our intrinsic spiritual nature and unite our thoughts and actions with our spirit.


Let your first thought of the day be one of positivity. Rather than looking at your phone or begrudging your work schedule as soon as you open your eyes, send a loving thought out into the universe like “today is a beautiful day” or “today I will grow”.


Food is most certainly a sacred gift; one that we could not live without. Take a quick moment before you eat to give gratitude to the cook, the grocer, the farmer, the sun, and all those who helped bring food to your table.


Giving keeps us in tune with the flow of the universe. Gifts need not be financial or material; simply giving a compliment, a compassionate thought or a silent blessing is a powerful gift in itself.


Spending a short time in silence each day allows the heart to become the speaker rather than the turbulent mind. “Silence is a way of letting the mind fast”, according to Bri. Maya Tiwari, and reconnects us to our deeper selves.


Keeping a journal helps us to remember that every day is sacred. At the end of each day, write down one special thing that you did or observed. Not every day needs to be dramatically different from the one before, but being mindful of something as simple as a smile, a kind word, or a beautiful flower reminds us of the universe’s divinity.


Observing the sounds of nature connects us to something bigger than ourselves. Even if you live in a city, you can close your eyes and find nature’s music all around you in the form of birds chirping, leaves rustling, or rain falling.


The body is the abode of the soul. It deserves our love and attention despite our busy lives. Spend a few extra minutes each day to care for your body; whether it be soaking in the tub, oil pulling, or a short self-massage.


Yoga is a sadhana in itself. It connects us with the breath, the prana, the life force that moves and animates us. Even a few minutes of mindful yoga helps us to feel more connected to ourselves.


Carl Jung once said after a visit to India, “when you walk with naked feet, how can you ever forget the earth?” Slip off your shoes and reintroduce your being to the nature beneath you.


Just before sleeping, make an effort to even very briefly remember the divinity of the universe. You might simply remind yourself of your soul, your spiritual self, or send out loving thoughts of gratitude.

Bringing these practices to life really does make every day feel like a sacred gift.

References: Tiwari, Bri. Maya. The Path of Practice. New York: A Ballantine Book, 2000. Chopra, Deepak. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. San Rafael: Amber-Allen Publishing and New

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