Love has no limits. It is borderless and knows no concept of time. Love is more than a feeling. It is a basic instinct and a vital aspect of nourishment.
It brings us peace, joy, fulfillment and positivity.
To love and to be loved allows openness, trust and deep compassion. Love requires authentic and raw connection. It asks that you let go of your ego, forget doubt and fear and listen to your internal wisdom, to your heart space.
Yoga allows us to channel this love and offer it to every aspect of our lives.
Through the practice we become more open physically in the body. We loosen years of tension, stress and blockages that have built up through free movement and asanas (postures). Along with the asana, we practice pranayama (breathing techniques) and develop a simple, yet effective tool to relax and calm our nervous systems. And when our yoga practice becomes meditative (on the mat or cushion) we become aware of our thoughts, our egos and habitual patterns.
It is inevitable that this openness in the body and mind will eventually follow you off your mat. Yoga becomes a constant practice of letting go of negativity, and inspires us to create space and to cultivate courage. When we find this courage we become less selfish and can then devote ourselves to something bigger.
When we truly love, weather it is a person, an animal or an experience we let in lightness and beauty. Suddenly the things that make us cringe disappear, as we invite compassion into our lives. We no longer need an elaborate experience to find laughter, happiness and comfort and instead embrace simple pleasures. We realize (without even trying) that we have the ability to love at all times.
Our yoga practice is one of the many paths, which heals and bring awareness’ to help us love every moment. Yoga is a gentle reminder to find the beauty and light in any given situation.
A simple and accessible way to create more love in your life is through your daily practice. Each time you arrive on your mat set a Sankalpa (intention) to love deeper and more freely. Focus on one particular aspect of your life or create a general intention. Keep the intention positive and in the present moment as if it is already happening.
I am loving and kind, I am loved by many
Allow this intention to follow you throughout your practice by encouraging an openness of the heart through backbends. Start your practice with three gentle backbends and finish your sequence with three deeper backbends. Beginning and ending your practice in the same way will remind you of your intention.
While in your backbends, emphasize relaxing the body (especially upper back, shoulder and neck area) and breathe deep while maintaining the focus on your Sankalpa. You can even devote each backbend to a specific person or part of your life if you would like.
While in your backbends, hold for three breaths each and try to visualize yourself shedding negativity, fears, stress and worries on the exhalation, and on the inhalations breathe in your Sankalpa.
Setting an intention and enhancing it through physical movements (heart opening postures) is a simple, yet powerful reminder throughout your day to keep your heart open.
The more you offer this love and kindness to yourself, the more you will be able to then share it with others around you.
Remember, where attention goes, energy flows…with your heart open the people, places and opportunities in your life will offer you the same happiness, joy and fulfillment in return.
Lauren is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Follow her teachings, travels and journey through Raise Your Beat. www.raiseyourbeat.com