This time of year we are so quick to give love away to our significant others, friends and family. Don’t get wrong, this is great! In fact we all probably could do more of this every day, but what about a little TLC for ourselves?
Yoga is about taking time for yourself, to heal, strengthen and nurture you body and mind. So, this week for my group yoga class I decided to hone in on just that, focusing on something I think everyone could use a little more of: self love. I gave my students blank cards (with hearts on them of course) and as they moved through heart and hip openers they got writing prompts. Throughout class each student wrote a little love note to them self. It was amazing to feel how the energy in the room changed as class went on. One student even left their card for me so I got to read it. Amazing stuff!
After class I thought it would be fun to share this practice with more people, because really, who doesn't need a little more self love? So, I came up with this meditation as a way for anyone to experience this exercise at home. Enjoy!
Gather a pen and paper and find and comfortable seat. If you're sitting with your legs crossed sit on the edge of a folded blanket or pillow to raise your hips above or in line with your knees.
Close your eyes and find your breath. Feel your breath move in and out of your body. When it feels right, start to deepen your breath, breathing down into your low belly and back, ribs and middle back and finally heart space and shoulder blades. Breathe like this for a few minutes.
Allow the following thoughts to come to your mind. You may answer as many of them as you'd like and of course can write down more than one answer.
Self, thank you for__________.
I am proud of you for__________.
I forgive you for __________.
Today I let go of __________ limiting thought/belief about myself.
I love you because __________.
Lastly, create a short affirmation or mantra for yourself. This can be something you say out loud to yourself or something you repeat in your mind. I've included some examples below.
Sit with each thought you would like to answer. As an answer comes to you write it down in the form of a complete sentence. Finish one thought at a time, coming back to your breath before moving onto the next. Once you have completed the thoughts sit with your breath. Bring you hands to Anjali mudra, prayer hands, thumbs pressing lightly against your sternum. Out loud or in your mind repeat your affirmation three times.
I love you.
I accept love.
I own my power.
I am grateful for all the love in my life.
I deserve love.
I am open to love.
I forgive myself.
I am wanted and loved.
I accept myself as I am.