— Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Love
The annual holiday of love and romance might be behind us, but taking time for love—and most importantly, self-love—is something we all need to do, ALL year round. A regular yoga practice is a great way to practice love as well, and whether you’re unrolling your mat for a rigorous heated flow or curling up with a bolster for some restorative poses, there are tons of ways yoga promotes love. Here are just a few:
- Yoga can set the tone of your day, whether you’re using it to wake up in the morning or wind down in the evening. It creates a space of mindfulness for approaching the day’s challenges and allows time to process and reflect on the events of your day.
- Yoga invites you to reconnect with yourself. Maybe you’ve heard your instructor say something like: “Be present on your mat” or “Take this time to turn inward”—these are all invitations to listen to your breath, your body, your mind, and your spirit.
- Yoga helps you separate from the ego. Have you ever found yourself struggling with a yoga pose that usually comes naturally to you? Maybe your normally-solid balance feels off one day, or your typically-open hamstrings have suddenly tightened up. This is yoga reminding you to check in with yourself—and your ego—and to embrace the natural rhythms of your body, the highs and lows of the time you spend on your mat.
- Yoga promotes intention-setting and manifesting. You don’t have to wait for your instructor to invite you to set an intention for your practice; make this a regular tradition every time you step on your mat. Intentions like: “I want to feel joy” or “I recognize the unique beauty of my body” or “I use this time to generate love” can completely change the way you practice—and the way you feel once you step off your mat!
- Yoga can put things into perspective. When you’re on your mat, you’re left with yourself: your breath and your body. You’re taking 60 or 90 minutes out of your day to live movement by movement, breath by breath. Practicing embracing the moment on your mat can help you to embrace each moment off your mat as well.
One great way to practice a little self-love this month is by getting more rest as well. Our Restorative Yoga + Yoga Nidra is the perfect practice for rebooting your nervous system, facilitating softening in your body, and allowing you time to truly rest. Join us on Sunday, February 25 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM for a practice filled with restorative poses safe for all students, breathing techniques, mindfulness techniques, hands-on body realignment, and a yummy Ayurvedic tea treat.
Namaste, yogis—and hey, have we mentioned lately that we totally love you?