Hello, there! I want to share a thought on self-love plus take a moment to reflect on why yoga is a valuable activity. I’m sure you can think of a few benefits right away such as increased flexibility, healthy weight loss, and supporting a strong heart. There are so many! But I feel like it all boils down to one thing. Ready?
Yoga is the highest form of self-love.
Yes, I truly believe it is the epitome of personal affection. Here’s why.
What is self-love?
We need to chat before diving in. This is a loaded question! It means something different to everyone.
Self-love is basically appreciation for ourselves, not typically obtained through growing our closet or listening to self-help podcasts. To tie it up nicely “self-love grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth” according to Deborah Khoshaba, Psych D.
An act of self-love addresses these three major forms of growth- physical, psychological and spiritual. Overtime, these acts create a lasting and healthy relationship with ourselves.
Thoughts when I first put this together:
- Wow, this is way more complex than throwing on a mud mask and watching Grey’s Anatomy.
- Where do I even start?
If this is similar to what’s going through your head, I hear you! Because contrary to “love” saturated media, real love is really freaking hard! We must work for it and even then, we can’t just have it. We have to plant it and make it grow. That’s right, make it. I’m talking CONSCIOUS EFFORT. Or if we look to one of my favorite mantras, a key component to developing self-love is living with intention.
So how do we start this love train? The hard truth is I can’t tell you how to love yourself. What I can do is get you thinking by sharing with you my deep love connection.
Returning to Yoga
I began practicing last year, but took a long break and used traveling as an excuse to do so. Sooo bad! It made me nervous to practice again. I thought, What if it’s too strenuous? What if I had never stopped and I was stronger? What if I’m not meant to practice? These “what-ifs” felt so real. Not only is this the opposite opposite of self-love, but I had no valid reason to think this way!
I had forgotten an important mindset: All are welcome to practice + everyone starts a beginner every time they practice. Introduce mind and then breath and then body… If you start with a headstand, you’ve missed the point.
Happy to say I recently attended a group class in a local park.* I opened up, allowing myself to go on a personal journey. It was immediately apparent what I had been missing out on! I sought out my strengths and weaknesses. I faced all that did not serve me and traded those for compassion.
We already know there is no quick fix to deep love, devotion, and acceptance of self. However, practice is powerful. Remember, focus goes where energy flows.
I say that yoga is the highest form of self-love because it offers everything that meets the criteria and more! Through action and intention, peace and discipline, the growth is psychological, physical, and spiritual. Energy flows through the mind, body and soul all at once. And it is for no ones benefit other than your own. Namaste.
*If you are in San Francisco and like to yoga, consider checking out Gratitude in the Park-Donation Yoga Flow. It’s free! 🙂