Self-Empowerment & Healthy Body Image – Meet Disability Rights Activist Carrie BarrepskiOctober 30, 2015
What is yoga’s impact on your body image?
Yoga has helped me develop a self awareness of my body to meet its needs. Being mindful has helped me connect my body and spirit. Over time I have come to accept my disabilities and limitations as characteristics. I am not defined by them. Positive body image is a daily process for myself. I use my daily meditation and yoga practice to create a positive energy flow that carries me through the day.
What is yoga culture’s relationship with body image?
I think yoga tries to promote positive body image, but the message often gets lost within the media concepts, such as social media and magazines. We need to remember the true lesson of yoga is acceptance, love and mindfulness.
How do you define body positivity?
Body positivity is when we love our bodies they way they are and treat it as a temple with loving care.
What does “healthy body image” mean to you?
Having a healthy body image is being mindful of our health needs, fueling our body with good food and participating in an exercise routine that we are passionate about.
How can we as a society promote a healthy body image for all?
The key to promoting a healthy body image is education. We as a society must empower people to put their health first. A positive body image culture would be where individuals would not be intimidated by the medias’ perception of a positive body image. Instead, they would love themselves without comparison.
Describe one of your transformational moments on your mat.
In my late twenties, I was at a crossroads about what to do with my life. At that time, I began doing yoga with Seane Corn’s first yoga DVD. I was inspired by her words of finding your passion and purpose for fueled by spiritual activism. I was empowered to turn my passion for writing to advocate for people with disabilities like myself. As a woman with disabilities, self-empowerment is very important because it enables us to use our voice to advocate for ourselves and to be independent.
Who are your yoga role models (if any)? Why?
For many years, Seane Corn has been my mentor and a kindred spirit. Seane has inspired all areas of my life from writing, activism to my yoga practice. We have developed a strong bond through Facebook, email and workshops.
How does your work address body image issues?
As a columnist, activist and teacher I empower individuals to embrace their unique characteristics. We are all beautiful from the inside to the outside. The key is to practice acceptance while loving yourself.
Why do you believe these issues and this work is important?
As a disability rights activist, this issue is very important because the key to being independent and a self-advocate is acceptance. When we have positive energy flowing, we can create positive experiences and meet our goals.
Carrie Barrepski is a disability rights activist and columnist writing about disability issues to help and inspire others. As a long time yogini she is a Lakshmi Voelker chair yoga teacher sharing the joy of yoga with those with physical limitations. Please visit www.carriewrites.net.