Similar to Christmas, there are many out there who most likely struggled to get through Valentine’s Day yesterday since they couldn’t be with those they love. If this is you, then show yourself some love.
It’s easy to think of Valentines Day as a celebration of romantic love but let’s look past the greeting cards and chocolates. Love is also self-love, compassion for all beings, unconditional love, love of community and much more. Love has the power to change and enrich your life, the lives of family and friends in your community. Without love, most of us wouldn’t be here, the world wouldn’t go round and crooners would have nothing to sing about. As the song goes ‘what the world needs now, is love sweet love, that’s the only thing there’s just too little of.’ A smile, kind words or donations can mean the world to someone in need.
Start with loving yourself. All love and compassion begins with self-love and self-compassion. Although it is important to care for your loved ones, it is important to give a little care and love to yourself too. Self-love is about fostering a healthy sense of self-esteem and recognising your worth. So many carry around an internal burden of self-criticism, put the needs of others first or compare themselves to others. If this is you, then take some time this week to honour and deepen your own relationship with yourself.
You can use your yoga & meditation practice to notice your internal dialogue and make an effort to drop the judgement and be more compassionate and friendly with yourself. The practice of yoga includes the love of yourself and your body. Learn to love your brilliant body and the person within it. Give yourself the gift of yoga practice with the sole purpose of loving your body and yourself.
Yoga connects your mind and body and opens and lifts our heart. In every inverted pose we are lifting the heart above the head. In backbends and supported reclining poses, the heart cavity is being opened, lifted and supported by the back body. Without an open heart, we cannot truly listen or open ourselves up to our loved ones. So the physical practice is a way of teaching our emotional selves to be open to love and to others.
Your body, mind and spirit are worth caring for. Self-love and self-care are not selfish but the foundation to loving others and loving life. Show yourself some love and then let it spread round the world.