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The wellness compliment that’s actually an insult, according to “Yoga Girl”


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Photo: Instagram/@yoga_girl

Rachel Brathen is many things: an entrepreneur (she and her husband own Island Yoga in Aruba), a yogi, a philanthropist, a New York Times best-selling author, a podcast host, and a new mom. (She gave birth to baby girl Lea in March.)

But there’s one thing Brathen—aka “Yoga Girl,”—doesn’t want you to call her: “brave.”

“If I have to read one more comment saying how ‘brave’ I am for showing off my post-partum body I’m going to SCREAM.”

“If I have to read one more comment saying how ‘brave’ I am for showing off my postpartum body I’m going to SCREAM,” Brathen posted on Instagram over the weekend.

“I understand that there is no bad intention behind saying that I’m ‘courageous’ for sharing photos and videos of me as I am, three months after having given birth, but what that actually means is that you look at my body and think that I am anything else but perfect and beautiful,” she says. “Like I should be hiding a little bit, now that I weigh 15 pounds more than normal (I gained 40 during pregnancy) and have stretch marks and a belly that’s soft and rounded.”

 

If I have to read one more comment saying how "brave" I am for showing off my post-partum body I'm going to SCREAM. I understand that there is no bad intention behind saying that I'm "courageous" for sharing photos and videos of me as I am, three months after having given birth, but what that actually means is that you look at my body and think that I am anything else but perfect and beautiful. Like I should be hiding a little bit, now that I weigh 15 pounds more than normal (I gained 40 during pregnancy) and have stretch marks and a belly that's soft and rounded. People keep asking me what I'm doing to "get my old body back". My old body? Back? I have no intention in moving backwards, and I don't think my body is ever going to be what it was before. I pushed a 10-pound human being out of my vagina! That I grew in my womb for the better part of a year! And now I'm feeding her – with my body! No. My body will never be what it was before. Does that mean it's uglier? Less attractive? Less admirable? Hell no. I absolutely love this shape of mine and do not plan on jumping on any exercise routine to lose weight, or get toned, or fit, or thin. I have a three-month old baby angel to care for. All my energy goes to pouring love and care into her tiny being. If I had to, at the same time, worry about my body, or if I were to judge myself or label myself as not good enough because it's been 13 weeks and I still don't have my abs back… I don't think I would be able to do this. How could I ever show my daughter the meaning of unconditional love if I don't first show it toward myself? I'm good the way I am, thank you very much. I'm practicing yoga when I can and today I went for tiny little run (yes, had to wear two bras and yes, almost threw up because it was so hard) but most of the time I'm just here, enjoying the softness of my little girl and how she fits so perfectly in the round of my stomach when I feed her. So please, don't call me brave for showing up in this body. Call me brave for giving birth! For raising a child! For running four companies! For voicing my opinion! Not for practicing yoga in a sports bra🙄 Alright. End of rant✌🏼 #postpartum #selflove

A post shared by Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl) on

And now that Brathen is back on the yoga mat, she wants to make it clear that she’s not doing it to “get her body back,” she told her 2.8 million followers. “My old body? Back? I have no intention in moving backwards, and I don’t think my body is ever going to be what it was before,” Brathen says. “I absolutely love this shape of mine and do not plan on jumping on any exercise routine to lose weight, or get toned, or fit, or thin.”

But if you want to call her brave, Brathen says, there are a few ways she’ll allow it: “Call me brave for giving birth! For raising a child! For running four companies! For voicing my opinion! Not for practicing yoga in a sports bra.”

For more yoga badass-ery, check out how Jessamyn Stanley’s at-home practice changed her life and the pose that just might ease your anxiety.

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