What we do for love! Like hungry animals, we go out on the hunt and eat it up in any form. Be a romantic gesture, motherly love, or even approval from our friends, we’ll take what we can get. Even when we do get the love we want from other people we are often left feeling empty, like it isn’t enough. The problem is that we are looking for love in all the wrong places. Our society has dedicated one whole day to honour love but in yoga tradition, love is an entire practice. This Valentine’s Day set aside your chocolates and candy hearts and start practicing self-love.
Self-Love is defined as “the regard for one’s own well-being and happiness”. It forms the foundation of your single, most important relationship – that with yourself. The strength of all your other relationships is exactly equal to the strength of that foundation. It is important to find love within yourself so you create more love to share with family and friends. Ways of practicing self-love are finding your happy place, discover something you’re good at, no comparisons in your life – be original, and your yoga practice.
You are working towards better health and wellness every time you step onto your mat. By stimulating your Anahata (Heart) Chakra in your practice you will open your heart and bring it back to its full, intact nature before it was hurt by anything or anyone. Opening your heart chakra could be just what you need in order to feel a little more connected and loved. Chest opening poses such as cobra, locust, bow, camel, bridge, wheel, and fish all stimulate and open the heart. The physical benefits of heart opening poses include toning the spine and increasing breathing capacity of the lungs, relieve tightness in the back and shoulders, increase blood circulation and stimulation of the thyroid and pituitary glands.
Remember to be grateful for who you are and what you have accomplished on and off of your mat. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Sarah Moyer, Yoga Instructor at Healthletica