“BODY image and self-esteem start in the mind, not in the mirror,” insists Ennis’ Kasia Kowalska who has just embarked on a new chapter of her life.
Kasia, a life coach and yoga instructor, has launched her new ‘One of a Kind’ book which aims to boost people’s body image, self esteem and mental health.
“Body image, self esteem and mental health go hand in hand. Very few people are 100% confident at all times.
“However, if the way we feel about ourselves starts to impact what we do and the choices we make in a negative way, we need to address this,” she explains.
Her guide contains a set of 35 worksheets and 100 prompts and questions to help people expand on their awareness and understanding about themselves, and encourage mindfulness of emotions, thoughts, habits and sensations.
“This guide challenges your unhelpful beliefs, switches perspective, helps you connect to your body, invite curiosity into your life, question the old, try on the new.”
She adds, “When you are able to be conscious of your inner world, you are more able to cope and overcome stress and other difficulties that happen in life and notice and embrace the good.
“This workbook also consists of safe, accessible tools to help you learn how to manage emotions, create joyful practices, and more.”
Of course, Covid-19 has had a major effect on people’s lives and she hopes that the guide will offer some support.
“A lot of us don’t know how to manage and express emotions. Being separated from friends or families, and having a reality so altered over the past few months makes it even more difficult.
“It is important to move through unpleasant feelings because they become barriers to success in almost every aspect in our lives from finances, health, career and relationships,” she says.
“It is also important because our belief and trust in feeling capable in life and feeling emotionally strong is tightly attached to our ability to experience and move through difficult emotions.”
This year marks Kasia’s 17th year living in Ireland, having moved here from Poland aged 22. She believes that all of her experiences up till now have led to this moment.
“I landed in Shannon airport June 24, 2004 and it really was love at the first sight. The people, the countryside, the mentality. Sixteen years on, when unexpectedly the lockdown hit, completely new ideas and values emerged. I took this time to study, a lot!
“Like many people, I got to befriend the virtual world more than I ever thought I would. It was a year full of changes, lessons and insights.
“I strongly feel that every person I have ever met, every event I have ever organised, every training I have ever attended, every lesson I have received were for me to arrive to this exact place.
“My work in supporting Clare Women Network, Irish Wheelchair Association, Brothers of Charity, Carrigoran Welnesss House, working in high schools, contributing to multicultural festivals, trying and offering new things to my clients, always learning and experimenting. All that has set a new, exciting road for me.”
The guide follows Kasia’s successful Body Love LAB programme for both adults and teens. LAB stands for life coaching, accessible yoga and breath.
“I’m deeply touched every time I witness my clients evolve the way they do. The projects they finally start, the boundaries they set, or simply the feeling at peace.
Only last week, twice, I was left speechless as two clients of mine described all of their new achievements and attitudes. Wow! I feel so proud of them and so assured that what I’m doing makes sense.
“My clients inspire me the most. They show me which direction to follow next, what to learn and where to turn to serve them best.”
She continues, “I hear my clients telling me ‘I wish I knew you 20 years ago!’ For this reason, I have created a programme for teenagers so we can start the self-awareness journey early, to hopefully, save our kids some of the difficulties that they may encounter in their lifetime, we learn about decision making, ways of self-care and self-expression.
“We teach ways to help youth to develop resources and a renewed energy to take care of their body. Also, cyber world has taken over and I feel it’s harder than ever to find our identity and live more at peace.”
For those who have taken the Body Love LAB course, the workbook complements what has been covered and opens up more.
“If you haven’t taken the course, maybe you will feel motivated to do so, maybe you will feel inspired to work with me or another professional individually, or maybe this workbook will be just enough. Either way ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!’”
She paid tribute to her family and friends for their “patience, support and love”. The workbook is available in both English and Polish.
For further details check www.goodcompanyyoga.org or social media Good Company Yoga and Life Coach.
by Jessica Quinn