Love yourself first …

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, as well as Valentine’s Day (tomorrow). As much as Hallmark would like us to believe Valentine’s Day is all about relationships with those you love (and to buy cards for them), I think the most important relationship to nurture on Valentine’s Day is the relationship with yourself and it starts with self-love and self-care. I practice and teach yoga as an opportunity to connect with my Self. Yoga is a journey of self-discovery, helping you to love yourself on a deeper level and to realize the importance of self-care. The challenge comes in truly listening to what your body and mind needs in each moment and choosing to honor that. We live in a world that is obsessed with the external, especially with what other people think, and, because of that, many of us struggle with feelings of not being good enough. Always striving for more; to be more, to have more. The practice of yoga addresses this by helping you to recognize your true Self. You realize you already have everything you need inside of you and the greatest gift you can give to yourself and the world is to know that and share that. When you love and honor who you are, you let go of the struggle and life flows with ease, grace, contentment and delight.

Not only is this practice of yoga a journey of self-discovery and getting to know oneself of a deeper level, it is also a support system. No matter what you are experiencing in life, yoga will always be there to see you through it. It will be with you through the good times and the more challenging, the happy and the sad. Your physical body gets stronger, your mind becomes clearer, and you feel more happiness and joy in your heart. In yoga and in life, your relationship with yourself is the longest and most intimate and important of all relationships. It is your foundation on which to grow everything else. It is not selfish to put yourself first. When you love yourself and take care of yourself, you have more to give to others.

What I have found over the years is that self-love is a practice, which is why yoga is a wonderful thing to do as your form of self-love. Self-love needs to be a priority. Self-love is like a muscle that you need to keep strong. It requires attention to stay healthy. Self-love is not about being perfect. It is about finding acceptance for not only where you are in life but in your yoga practice as well. Instead of seeing lack or fear, see acceptance and compassion. Where there is acceptance and compassion, there is love. Within that acceptance, there will be transformation and it will all be born from love and self-care. Your greatest task in life is to realize how very special YOU are. Treat yourself as you would treat your favorite person in the world. Life is so much richer when you live from love and it all starts by loving yourself. Every time you unroll your yoga mat or sit down to meditate is an expression of self-love.

We hope to see you on your mat in any of our in-studio or online classes where you can make self-love a priority this week (and every week). Because, the more we go inward to get to know ourselves and practice self-love, the more 9and with greater facility, ease and sweetness) we can connect outwardly to the world.

As always, thanks for reading my musings. Namaste, Leslie

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