Love of savasanah, breath, and Self
What is Love? What is it to love another being so intensely that you feel it to your core? What is it to love an experience, or a memory that fills your heart with smiles, fondness and gratitude? Is it the same love you experience when taking a bite of fudge from “Bevan’s” candy, or loving a song on the radio that you haven’t heard in awhile? How do these loves differ? How are they the same? There are countless forms of love an individual may experience during the course of a lifetime. They range anywhere from loving a commercial, to being in love with your soulmate; the love of the ocean, to loving a snow day; a simple love of a pet and unconditional love for your family; the love of savasanah and the love of the breath. If someone can feel love, I believe they can feel joy and gratitude. However, there is something that is necessary to experience all these loves to the fullest. During this month of February, when the focus is all about love, I am reminded of the most important love-self-love; as cliché as the saying may be, you truly cannot love unless you love yourself.
About a year ago, I wrote a blog on “Being Kind to Yourself”. I shared how this has been a personal mantra of mine over the past few years and how it altered my life for the better. Through years of negative self-talk, a yoga instructor said that simple phrase “be kind to yourself” and it was a turning point for me. Once I began to be kind to me, to talk kindly to me, and to love me, my heart opened up in more beautiful ways than I could have imagined. I have shared my mantra with others over the years, especially my students. And what I find is that the older a person is, the harder it is for them to experience self-love. Is it from society, from a comment, from not feeling good enough? I do not know exactly, but I do know, from personal experience, it does not have to be permanent. It took a heartbreaking event, the patience of loved ones, the path of healing through yoga, and the right yoga teacher at the right time in my life to utter a phrase, so simple, yet so profound, to expand my heart and allow myself to feel self-love. I am so grateful for that! I can only hope that I can empower others to love themselves. This week I did an activity with my students on self-love, most were receptive and enjoyed it. The few that had difficulty were the ones that struggle with their self-esteem, but they were able to identify a few things they loved about themselves. My message was simple-you must love yourself to feel love for others.
Through my daily yoga practice, my meditation, my gratitude journal, the love of my husband, my dog, family and friends, the fulfillment I receive from my profession and the love from my students, and the beautiful thought that we are all connected “One Love-One Life” allows my love to flow freely. This “Valentine’s Day” and every day I am able to love in all its countless ways, that much more deeply, because I love myself! I want the same for you! Just for today, or even for this moment, practice self-love. Whether you look into a mirror, with a smile and an ‘I love you”, or gently close your eyes, with a smile and a thought “I love me”, feel your heart open just a little bit more. You will feel grateful, you will feel joy, you will feel love and you will LOVE IT!
“Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives”. – Louise L. Hay