The term Self Love is often discounted to be an action motivated by egoistic intentions. Actually loving ourselves however is a basic requirement for partnership and interpersonal relationships.
Only if you can love yourself you can love others!
Same as in other things we are looking for love in other places instead of searching it in ourselves. The picture of family and marriage which society has painted makes us believe that we can satisfy our basic needs of being loved through partnership. Therefore it might be quite sobering to determine that even the most attentive husband and the picture perfect wife can’t bring complete fulfillment.
We want our colleagues, family members and partners to treat us in an understanding way but most of the time we are not able to be understanding to ourselves. How can I expect others to treat me in a way which is totally alien to myself?
Monologues that we have inside the mind are often affected by self critism, perfectionism and competitiveness. How often have you gotten angry of yourself because of that extra piece of chocolate you had or because of the fact you did not go to the gym again? If you compare this to the times you stood in front of the mirror and said to yourself: You are awesome! you might question the relation you have with the person you spend the biggest part of your life – yourself!
It might seem vain and egocentric to confess love to oneself but does that really matter if no one does listen to your thoughts anyways? You don’t have to wear a T-Shirt printed “I LOVE MYSELF” on it (even if Kendrick would probably appreciate that kind of marketing strategy ;-)). You can just keep this act of self love as a secret between you and – well yes – YOURSELF!
The love we show to ourselves is the love we can spread in the world.
This and other tracks about Self Love you can find on my Spotify Playlist which I created for the following Yoga sequence.
So get on the mat and turn the volume up! Show yourself some love 🙂
Yoga as an action of Self Love
The following yoga poses can be practised as a sequence. They should give you a feeling of strength and self confidence. The given instructions only give you adivce for a correct alignment and to make sure you savely get into and of corse out of each pose.
For practising true self love however the most important part is to listen to your intuition, your own feelings and constitution. You can only love yourself if you show respect to every part of your existence – may it be physical, emotional or even deeper.
Start in a wide legged lunge position.
Turn the back foot outward (around 45°) so you can press down the whole sole of your foot down to the mat.
Try to keep the front knee in a right angle above your ankle.
Inhale: Raise your upper body while lifting your arms from both sides.
You can look up to the thumbs if your neck can handle.
If you have any neck or cervical issues just leave some space between your arms (shoulderwidth apart) and gaze towards the front.
Stay here for five deep breaths.
High Lunge as an option for knee issues (in the back leg)
Keep the toes of your back foot under.
Inhale: Slowly straighten your front leg.
Exhale: Interlock your fingers behind your back. Close them as tight as you can.
Inhale: Lift your sternum and straighten your spine.
Exhale: Let your chin sink down towards your chest and slowly move further along the inner side of your front leg.
Hold here for three deep breaths.
Press both feet into the mat. First let your hands sink down towards your back before you slowly raise the upper body. Lift your head at least to avoid dizziness.
Give yourself time to get out of a pose. Time is the greatest gift you can give to yourself!
Turn your back foot around 90 degrees so it is square to the outer edge of your mat.
Inhale: Spread both arms in one line with your shoulders. Gaze above your right middlefinger.
Exhale: Bend your front knee in a 90 degree angle. Your knee joint is exactly above your ankle.
Hold this pose for five deep breaths. Maintain your front knee above your ankle while pressing the outer edge of your back foot into the mat.
Start in a seated position with your spine straight. Straighten the left leg and activate your foot by pulling the toes towards you. Maintain your hips square.
Grab your bend knee so you can lift up your chest and straighten the back without lifting the opposite hip.
Inhale: Raise your right arm to straighten the spine even longer.
Exhale: Place your right hand behind your body. Try to maintain the hips heavy and the spine long.
Inhale: Lift your left arm to straighten the back even more.
Exhale: Hug your bend knee to get even deeper into the twisted position.
Stay here five deep breaths. Maintain your back straight and deeply breathe from your belly up towards your heartspace.
While breathing deeply you give your inner organs a smooth massage. Try to maintain a proud and self estimating posture while inhaling so you really feel the loving message of this twist.
Place your feet in front of you.
Hug your legs and lay your belly onto your thighs. Place your forehead on the knees.
Exhale: Place both heels on the mat and slowly push them forward so you glide into a hugging forbend. Maintian your feet active by pulling your toes towards the head.
Stay here for five deep breaths.
Feel the space created in the backside of your body while deeply inhaling. Let yourself sink a bit further down with every exhalation.
Before you come back up again release the arms and then roll yourself up vertebrae by vertebrae.
Again: Be patient and gove yourself time. Feel each vertebrae as an unique part of you which you want to treat with respect and love.
Supporting Shoulder Bridge
Start on your back, your feet placed hipwidth apart.
Inhale: Slowly lift your pelvis.
Exhale: Hold your pelivs lifted and try to shift your shoulderblades closer to another through swinging movements.
If you are able to bend your ellbows here you can place the palms of your hands on the lower back to support you in an intense heart opening pose (picture 2).
If you are not able to lift you pelvis that high you just leave your arms in the mat (picture 1).
Stay here for five deep breaths. Feel the space and the stretch of the front side of your body while deeply inhaling. Open up your heart space here to show yourself some love!
Exhale: Slowly roll yourself down to the mat one vertebrae after another.
As a balancing pose lift your knees to your chest, releasing the lower back into the mat and give yourself a biiig hug.
Exhale: Pull your knees close to your ribs.
Bring your arms on the inner side of your legs and grab the outer edges of your feet.
Exhale: Pull the legs closer so the lower back gets longer and the soles of your feet are pointing towards the sky. You should feel a stretch on the inner side of your legs while opening the hips in this pose.
Stay here for a few deep breaths. If you feel comfortable in this pose you can gently swing yourself from left to right.
Asanas and Yogaposes on the mat are a great form of Self Love in a physical form. Still we know that we have to differentiate between physical relationships and true love.
Another way to bless yourself with Self Love is taking your time to connect each part of your Self again: Body, Mind and Soul.