Why yoga is the ultimate self-love.

NAMASTE – My soul honours your soul. I honour the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honour, the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you, because it is also within me. In sharing these things, we are united, we are the same, we are one.

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? One saying, and it totally encompasses everything that yoga is, and we are.

Yoga teaches us invaluable life lessons, and when you break them down, they all come back to the same thing; you’ve got to love yourself! Turns out, Justin Beiber was right.

It’s February, the month of love, and the media is telling us: love your partner, love your friends, love your kids, love your dogs! But they often forget the most important person, and that’s you. It’s time we realise that the more fulfilled we are, the better version we can be of ourselves, which in turn benefits our loved ones.

The yoga mat is a wonderful place to start to learn to love yourself. We often hear our teachers thank us for showing up. Well, follow their lead and acknowledge yourself! Thank yourself for arriving, for moving (or stilling) your body, stretching your mind, and showing yourself that you are worth it.

Yoga teaches us that we can care for ourselves through food, too. It’s pretty hard to move around and hang out in downward dog with a belly fully of bad food! We quickly realise that the more water we drink, the better food we eat and the more time we spend in nature, the better we feel in ourselves.

When it comes to asana (physical practice of yoga), there is much to be learnt. In certain poses we just have to say ‘no’. Stretch as far as you can, and no further. Sometimes the hardest thing you can do (on and off the mat) is to say ‘no’. But sometimes the hardest things are the best things for you, right? Finding the courage to say ‘no’ when you know that something isn’t the best fit for you, can be incredibly empowering. You can’t say yes to everything, that’s how you get burnt out. Loving yourself sometimes means having to say no.

In class we let go; we let go of negativity, we let go of judgement. We let go of tension and stress and the busy thoughts of the outside world, even just for a moment. In life we need to let go of these things as well. Let go of the harsh thoughts, the mean friends, the bad food, the unnecessary stress. Let go and love instead. Princess Elsa knows what’s up.

Holding a pose and your legs may tremble, or one leg may not stretch as much as the other. That’s ok. Life is not exact. Notice the ups and downs in life, just as you notice your left arm stretches farther than your right. There’s no right or wrong here, (just left and right!), and that’s yoga speaking to you again. You aren’t perfect, no one is. You’ve got to love you, babe.

Hands up if the best part of your yoga class is savasana?  Heck yes it is, because you finally give yourself permission to relax, and unwind. You need this and yoga knows it. Our lives are busier than ever. Love yourself and take a moment. Take it by doing a class now, or going for a walk, or preparing some nourishing food.

This month of love, love yourself with some self-loving yoga!

Happy Love Month!

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