On Loving Yourself

Lamya 2

At Aria + Leya, we create products that aim to create a stronger relationship between you and your body. It’s important to treat your body as you would a companion rather than the frenemy that we consider it to be. We spoke to three women about loving their bodies, themselves and their journeys along the way.

Lamya 1

Lamya Arsiwala is a yogi who has been practicing for over ten years. She currently co-owns The Yoga House brand which has four operating centers in India while hosting retreats all over the world!

On balance and self-love…

As a yoga practitioner and teacher, early on I learned that the practice of yoga is one of equilibrium, and balance. It really is about finding that point of humility and joy all at once; I only came to that point once I understood the meaning of self-love.

This begins from a place of kindness toward ourselves, learning to sit with your sorrows, flaws and failures; and accepting them without judgement. Only once we learn to love ourselves can we really start to open our hearts to others.

On obstacles…

I think a huge obstacle many of us face on a daily basis is this high-strung, over stimulated environment that we are exposed to. In this space, it’s easy to lose that innate connection to ourselves and that’s what most self-love practices are about- self-awareness, self-discovery and self-connection.

As a teacher I often meet people who are obsessed with losing weight and struggle to love their bodies, and my advice is always the same. The moment you come to love those flaws and imperfections, they lose power and you can feel complete and whole. You stop being your own roadblock. We are perfect in our wholeness and that includes our scars, our weaknesses, mood swings, all of it. We shouldn’t feel ashamed.

On putting this into practice…

There are simple ways one can nurture and take care of their soul. Simple things like just standing naked in front of a mirror and observing your body while appreciating each and every curve.

Taking a long bath with some essential oils, bath salts and soothing music. This helps relax and disconnect from the world.

I have been blessed with a whole group of goddesses in my life, my friends; and I find that spending time with people who are positive and nurturing will only enhance your own vibrations. Whether it’s meeting for a coffee or spending a day at the spa together, I always feel so much better after some down time with my girls!

Sunaina Rekhi

Sunaina Rekhi was drawn to yoga as a kind of therapy. Going through a series of personal issues, yoga emerged as the instrument that helped her harmonize her mind and body. Today Sunaina is one of Bombay’s most exciting yogis, taking this up a notch with her newly established studio in Juhu- The Yoga Gallery.

On yoga…

Loving your body is equivalent to loving yourself so that does not mean that if you have a great body you will automatically have a good relationship with yourself. In yoga, you learn to embrace your entirety, which doesn’t mean that yoga changes you but in fact it takes you back to where you need to be. Your essential and true self.

On being mean to your body…

The human body is Mother Nature’s greatest and most beautiful creation. Yet most of us hate our bodies, we berate and spew venom at our thighs, bellies and hips. Our bodies are our most loyal and loving companions. If you imagined your body as a friend, or partner, one who helps you do whatever you need through the day; would you treat it as badly?

On judgement…

It’s amazing that the first thing someone will notice about you, will not be your kindness, sense of humour or compassion, but your face, your body, your clothes. These are all superficial elements, things we are blessed with and also those that we choose to represent our inner selves. However, if the world were blind who would you impress?

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Poonam Sareen is a leading HR consultant, trainer and counselor. She uses music, acting, and meditative activities in her workshops in order to help people attain their best self. Whether it’s to become a better actor, public speaker, leader or mother, Poonam’s expertise are incredibly wide and varied.

On the body and spirituality…

I’ve come to a few conclusions on certain essences I’m living by today. I’ve been through physical paralysis, a tumour, cancer and radiation; and I think I’m doing quite well today! I believe we function on four levels: the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The spiritual level is where one finds true peace and inner harmony whereas many of us still don’t understand that we are more than our bodies. My body is simple a vessel to help me reach that place of spirituality.

On transparency…

I have found that since I was a kid, being able to know myself and my own nature, and what I really truly love about myself was incredibly important to me. For example, I know that I am a transparent person and it’s important for me to be true to that because that is that thread that joins those beads that signify the events of my life, or my relationships. When I am not transparent, I invariably feel conflicted and guilty and it will start to show up on my physical body.

On pain and suffering…

One thing I’ve been meditating on, is pain and suffering. Is getting cancer pain? Yes. Is having an accident pain? Yes. Is loss pain? Yes. Pain is a part of life and the sooner we accept this, the sooner can we start being truly happy. The problem however, lies in suffering. Asking the same question, “How could this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?” and falling into a cycle of self-victimization and self-deprecation. That is where the danger lies.

When I have people come for my sessions, it actually takes them a lot of time to talk about what they love about themselves. That to me, is the saddest thing.


Author Bio:

Aria + Leya embody the nuances of today’s modern woman: Aria is a free spirit that soars above the clouds, carefree and fearless; Leya is a graceful, grounding strength, whose instinct is to protect and nurture with courage. Together, they are the heroines of this vivacious, authentic and confident new brand.   We at Aria + Leya are about much more than selling beautiful lingerie online in India and swimwear for women – we believe in creating communities of women who live their lives deliberately, with courage and passion. A+L understand that the way in which lingerie support women’s bodies is not so different from the way women support each other, in a gentle yet reliable, beautiful yet functional manner.

Be Bold. Be True. Be You. Aria + Leya offers today’s modern Indian women a fine selection of lovely, designer women underwear, designed with flair and built to last. With zero compromises on the fit and feel, the products stay at an affordable price point and are available at, a boutique online shop, where women can choose from a range of sizes and buy bras, underwear’s, and bikinis directly from the online site. They are designed to make the wearer feel confident, proud to be a woman – and a bit flirty! – every single day.

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  • WordPress - May 4, 2016 Flag

    Thank you Shraddhha! We totally agree that it all starts with loving yourself!

  • Shraddhha kochhar - May 3, 2016 Flag

    This is a beautiful article with wonderful heart felt inputs from Lamya Sunaina and Poonam.... It is all about loving yourself first , everything else eventually flows into the right space ... Thank you ... Beautifully written ?