An Evening with Maya Angelou

Nineteen years ago, I was a young college student on a self-proclaimed journey of body acceptance.
I had enough of all the negative body image and judgment out there (of self and others).  I was frustrated by the way so many women marginalized themselves by constantly pursuing the  “perfect” body. As a result, I  created  the “Goddess on a Pedestal” Club, to which I “made” all my friends  join.

The “mission” statement and initiation into the “Goddess on a Pedestal” Club included the memorization of (or listening to me recite)   Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” poem.

A poem that had found me in my youth and opened my eyes to a world  of acceptance, pride, self-love and owning my femininity.

Then the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself. Maya Angelou herself was coming to my college to speak! I went to the local Kinkos, spent what very little money I had and printed her poem on pretty paper with a colorful border.

On the evening of her lecture, I was joined  by one of my friends.  I held Maya’s poem so tightly in my hands the creases and wrinkles are still visible today. I remember how mesmerized I was by her towering presence and booming voice. I could feel her energy penetrate my body and soul. When she recited “Phenomenal Woman” the tears rolled down my cheeks as I listened intently while watching her sway on the stage as she spoke- true poetry in motion. I couldn’t believe I was in her presence and witnessing a woman in her fullest strength, captivating her audience with every move and sound she made. I have never been one who impresses easily. That night, I was moved and impressed beyond words.

As the evening came to a close, I wiped the tears from my face and noticed how many had fallen onto the poem. My Friend, who I think was moved to see this level of emotion from me, asked if I wanted to see if Dr. Angelou would autograph my paper. Having not yet reached my fullest capacity of self-confidence, I declined. I didn’t want to bother Dr. Angelou. She seemed too great. This was my only regret of the night.

However, the tear-stained poem framed with my ticket from the evening  have remained with me 19 years later. Preserving her influence on me and marking the pivotal point in my life where I knew I was well on my way to fulfilling my life’s purpose.

“Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman. That’s me.”

That’s each of us.

Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou.

In Gratitude,

Lisa Diers

 

     

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Hi Everyone!

Today’s audio guided imagery is one of my personal favorites.  Your experience will be unique to you – and that is the great thing about yoga.  Your yoga is YOURS. Just as unique to you as your finger print. Follow along or adjust as needed. Your way is the right way.

In Gratitude,

Lisa Diers

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Hi Everyone,

The Holidays can be both wonderful and stressful for many people.

In today’s post, I  name some of the challenges of the holidays as well as offer a breath technique that many of my clients use to manage stress and intense feelings, in order to find calm and feel more grounded.

As always in yoga, please do what feels best for you. This practice may or may not be the one for you and that’s OK.  The fact that you are opening to trying something new to create positive change is an amazing first step!

In Gratitude,

Lisa Diers

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“The following content was written for the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and has been cross-posted with permission. For the original article, see here.”

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Legs Up the Wall Yoga Image with Lisa Diers

The first of our Emily Program yoga series begins with a classic pose for cultivating relaxation, aiding in stress reduction, and promoting a gentle stretch in the legs. In this video, you will see the pose in its more traditional form. However, there are several variations that can be taken to meet your current needs. Some physical modifications may include relaxing in this pose while lying in your bed, or by placing a folded blanket under your low back or head for added support. Other options could include using an eye pillow or incorporating aromatherapy. It’s all about doing what feels good in your body and listening to what it needs. Continue reading Video: Legs Up The Wall

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