If you’re a fan of social media, you’re probably getting used to seeing frequent stories about people innocently posting photos of themselves, only to find that “body-shamers” have come out of the woodwork to make negative comments about their looks, their hair, their clothing choices, their weight…you name it.
Self love. It is the foundation of a happy life and yet, at times, is so hard to hold on to. So, what is self love? While some consider self love to be conceited, the Yamas and Niyamas of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras teach us that self love is a combination of ahimsa (non-violence) brahmacharya (non-excess), and santosha (contentment).
To be your most authentic self, you need to incorporate self-care into your daily life. Self-care anchors you in kindness and love, even amidst a whirlwind of stress or trauma. Dr. Kristen Lee Costa, a professor at Northeastern University and stress expert defines self-care as “being aware of a wide range of needs and deliberately taking action to support our own well-being.”
As seasons change and the beginning of another school year is here, most of the conversations I’ve been in lately have been about how busy life gets and how hard it is to keep everything in balance…emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Last time I went to the airport, I saw a small boy with his hands and cheeks up against a large glass window. He watched the planes take off over and over again with a look of awe smudged across his face. His reflection held a sense of luminous possibility, as if he realized he could fly too. I stood there, tired and anxious to get to on my flight, witnessing something magical.
It’s February and love is in the air. It fills the store aisles in preparation for Valentine’s Day and is all over the airwaves in music, movies, and TV. I used to find immense frustration in the commercial aspect of love during the month of February. As I’ve delved deeper into what it means to love and be loved, though, I can now appreciate the holiday as a time to tune into the feeling of love we all have within us in order to fully appreciate it and share it with others throughout the year!
Has the passion for your yoga practice faded? Is your motivation to hit the mat at an all-time low? Can’t seem to make it to your regular classes anymore, and your home practice has lost its luster?
This happens to every yoga practitioner at some point. Though a regular yoga routine is comforting and familiar, if you don’t change things up from time to time, eventually that routine will turn into a rut.
The other night, as I was driving home from teaching one of my weekly yoga classes, “Instant Karma” by the Beatles started to play on the radio. I’ve never really paid attention to the lyrics, as I’ve always enjoyed listening to the melody, but that night I was drawn to the chorus.
“Well, we all shine on, Like the moon and the stars and the sun, Yeah, we all shine on…
On and on and on, on and on…”
It got me thinking that we all need to shine. We all have unique traits and talents that set us apart from the rest of the world, yet most of us are too afraid to embrace these qualities because we are unaware of our own brilliance.
I can remember the days when my multivitamins tasted like candy. It was an absolute pleasure to take those little Flintstone chewables every day in the hope of “growing strong bones,” as my dad used to put it. As I’ve gotten older, taking my daily vitamins is a sweet ritual that I have carried with me. I line them up and remember their purpose as I ingest each one. But this month, my focus has shifted. I’m not as concerned with my calcium supplementation or the millions of strands in my probiotic. I’m now interested in is a much more important vitamin, Vitamin L—Love.
This Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to start having a sizzling affair. Not the way you think, though — I want you to choose your closest soul mate, the one who’s been there for you during all the ups and downs of your life and the person who has never, ever left you, and never will.