Kathryn Budig on Body Positivity and Aiming True

Real talk: It can be hard to prioritize self-care. But that’s exactly what acclaimed yoga teacher and inspirational speaker Kathryn Budig hopes you’ll do after picking up her new book, Aim True.

This is far from your average self-help book, though. Budig, a recent guest on Daily Burn 365, created her workbook-style book to be truly interactive. Within its pages, you’ll find quizzes, mad libs and other activities designed to help you work towards goals while banishing negative self-talk from your vocabulary. Bonus: There are tons of yoga sequences and 85 downright delicious recipes, too.

We got the scoop from Budig on healthy traveling, why body positivity is so important and her vision for a more body-positive fitness industry. (Plus, if you want to work out with her, you can here!)

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Kathryn Budig on Body Positivity and Aiming True

Photos: Ryan Kelly / William Morrow

Kathryn Budig: A Journey to Empowered Living

On her mission of spreading body positivity

I lived in Los Angeles for eight years, and body image is such a big deal there. It’s a city that focused on aesthetics. In the health world, you are praised if you look a certain way. And I found myself feeling really bad about myself even though I was in good shape. I saw people around me who were torturing themselves and who were treating their bodies in unloving ways. Seeing other people struggle is what encouraged me to speak up about it and to plant these seeds of body positivity…We aren’t these “meat suits” — we are the essence that animates it. We need to stop focusing so much on how we look.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Banish Negative Self-Talk for Good

On yoga’s effect on body positivity…

The yoga practice is incredible because it really encourages you to accept exactly who you are and where you are with life. It’s a practice that encourages non-judgment. It was really great for me because when I got into teaching yoga in California, I was going on all these auditions in Hollywood. It was remarkable to see the difference between the two worlds. Hollywood was telling me to lose weight and be prettier, and the yoga practice was telling me ‘hey, you’re great, you’re lovely exactly as you are.’ Plus, it makes your body feel so good. By the end of a practice, I always, always feel better. Taking time out of your day to move and breath and set intention…It’s really nice to have a “mind douche” where all the stuff that’s bothering you gets flushed out.

On how to combat insecurities…

When we allow ourselves to make comments about ourselves, it radiates a negative energy. Take your power back! Be really careful with your words. You saying something about yourself isn’t going to get you anywhere except farther down this self-deprecating spiral you’re already on. At the end of the day, [staying body positive] is work. It’s not like you can say, “I love myself” and feel better. It’s a conscious decision to watch what you say out loud. Retrain your brain. You might not be 100 percent happy with how you look right now but that doesn’t mean this is permanent or that there’s nothing you can do to feel good.

“I would love to see people in the fitness world speak more openly about what healthy actually looks like.”

RELATED: Don’t Think You Have a Yoga Body? Here’s Why It Doesn’t Matter

On aesthetics in the fitness industry…

I would love to see people in the fitness world speak more openly about what healthy actually looks like. It’s not abs. It’s not a certain weight or dress size. We are getting a little better about it … But at the same time, I would like to see more role models not change the way they look in order to be on the cover of a magazine. What we are putting out there are these highly polished versions of people who have been dieting for 30 days, and acting like they work out regularly and eat well. Go get photographed and be OK if it doesn’t look 100 percent perfect. That’s still really beautiful.

On staying healthy while traveling…

I pack a lot of goodies with me. I bring my essential oils, enzymes and probiotics. I’ll always have a reusable water bottle with me to stay hydrated. It’s hard eating on the road but you know, I enjoy food, too. I can’t be as strict with my eating regimen but I don’t focus on what I can’t have. I like to enjoy regional cuisines.

On staying balanced with social media…

I’ve been making a concerted effort to only be on my phone when I need to. I’ll try to cut off a chunk of time and dedicate that to emails. Those will be my “office hours.” Then I’ll try and step away for the rest of the day.

As far as social media goes, I try to post things that are interesting. I never feel pressured to stay up to date. I think social media is a beautiful way to spread messages, but it’s a dangerous place because people are negative and often quite rude. I just refuse to let that get under my skin. It’s a waste of energy for me to allow people to hurt me. It’s not taking any power away form me unless I allow it.

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