I’ve been humming this beautiful suite of Disney songs called “The Disney Fly Medley” since Thanksgiving. As a lifelong choirgirl, I just love all the delicious harmonies and melodies throughout the medley. I couldn’t have anticipated that this little three video clip would be the fuel to fly me into my most beautiful self.
I re-discovered my love for yoga this past fall at a beautiful yoga studio in Bed-Stuy called Locale. Their yoga classes are delicious and every instructor I’ve encountered so far is amazing. At the end of several classes, I would look up and see these colorful bunches of fabric hanging from the ceiling. I asked the co-owners what they were being used for and they told me that they were for their aerial yoga classes. My first response was, “Oh, that’s cute. There’s no way that a thin bunch of fabric could ever hold me from the ceiling.” They reassured me that indeed it could and that I would be free to drop in any time on an aerial class.
On a beautiful snowy Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, one of the co-owners called me and invited me to an aerial class with just one other participant. I agreed to drop in and it was EXTRAORDINARY. I did TWO (yes, TWO!) inversions in my first class. I was so astonished with myself that I burst into a round of happy tears. I’ve now been back two times and I now have an addiction on my hands!
It’s been a beautiful experience to really get to know MY BODY. This is my divine sack of skin and bones for this lifetime. I don’t get any take backs or refunds. This is the standard Lakins package complete with Howard’s rich brown complexion and glowing eyes and Ida Mae’s ample breasts, hips, thighs, and muscular calves. I could continue spending the rest of my life wishing my body were some other way or I could just make the radical choice to love my body RIGHT NOW.
Now, I ain’t even gonna lie. When I saw these pictures of my first few aerial yoga classes, my eyes immediately went to my fluffy belly layers and those ample chicken wings that I call my arms. But you know who is now swinging in an aerial yoga class at least once a week? ME. Do you know who walks at least 10 miles around Brooklyn and Manhattan each week? ME. Do you know who hikes up a mountain’s worth of Subway steps each month? ME. (And yes, I said hike up Subway stairs. You don’t know despair until you see 250 steps standing between you and the nearest exit!)
And what I am also realizing is that there is no Fresh Eyes Editorial Services without me being vital, alive, fit, and energized to do the work that I so passionately love. In order for my company to thrive, I have to take care of ME the CEO FIRST.
I’m enjoying the process of slowly unfolding this beautiful inner goddess inside of me with more fun movement, more home cooking and fresh food, and more love than I’ve ever given myself before. I haven’t been on a scale in over a year and, for now, I’m keeping it that way. I feel amazing and I can tell that my body love is showing up in small, tangible ways such as sleeping better, feeling more alert, and being less winded when I tote my laundry and groceries up two flights of stairs (Just FYI: laundry and grocery day takes place every other Thursday. Volunteers are STRONGLY encouraged to apply!).
Conquering my challenges with my body image is one of those HUGE final frontiers from my childhood that I’m looking forward to overcoming. As you can imagine, there’s quite a bit of spiritual and mental unpacking happening, too. There have been several days when I’ve been overcome with tears—happy tears!—about just how much more I am accomplishing with MY BODY. With each day, it’s a beautiful experience to truly KNOW in my bones that MY BODY is a divine instrument that is WORTHY to be nourished, moved, and loved. It’s such a divine feeling to see that I can indeed fly into the most beautiful and beloved version of Leah yet to come.
I have to give a HUGE shout-out to my beautiful friend, Tenasia, who supported me in embarking upon this new chapter in my health and well-being. You, my friend, are LOVED.
And if you are ever rolling through Bed-Stuy, drop by Locale for some wonderful antique and unique pieces and their wonderful yoga studio—just don’t steal my spot at aerial yoga!