March 7 2018
Self Love through Yoga
Piggybacking on our Love theme and really reinforcing how important yoga can be to your self love habits. A little bit of time on your mat to focus on the breath and being 100% present can change your entire outlook on your body and in yor life in general.
Yoga has made a huge impact in my personal self-love journey and it can for you too. As a busy mom and working multiple businesses, the to do lists have only gotten longer and it can results in a very overwhelming uncomfortable feeling. It was through yoga where I have been able to calm my mind and not let the day to day “to- do’s” affect my love game.
There was a time when I was able to check everything off my list but then, a time came where there just wasn’t enough time in the day to do all that I “needed” to do. The pressures I put on myself to conquer it all, became very unrealistic. It wasn’t until I discovered yoga that I was able to learn to let go and accept that we can only do what we can do. The overwhelming pressures we put on ourselves are not only completely unrealistic but can cause unnecessary pressure that doesn’t do anything for our productivity and love game.
Not only can yoga improve our bodies and overall flexibility but it teaches us to really tap into our breath and calm our minds. The power of the breath allows us to release any negative energy and unnecessary self doubt that doesn’t serve us or improve our self-love game.
I’ve returned to my mat through different phases of my life and yoga continues to give me the balance and reality check I need to be more present and realistic with myself and my day-to-day activities. It can be easy to get disconnected when we have so many things going on in our lives, careers, and at home but yoga is a sure way to always bring us back and keep us grounded.
I encourage you to explore life on your mat as a way to find your inner calm, among the constant crazy of our world.
I wanted to share a few of my favorite yoga postures in hopes that they inspire you to learn to love yourself enough to see all the incredible benefits yoga can have in your own self-love journey.
You are enough.
You are perfect just the way you are.
You have everything within you right now.
You are love.
1. Begin in a downward dog position forming an upside down “V” with your body. Lift your right foot up towards the sky then bring your knee towards your chest planting your foot to form a low lunge.
2. Turn your back left heel slightly out to about a 45-degree angle.
3. Windmill open your arms so your right arm points directly out in front of you while your back arm shoots directly out behind you forming a “T” with your body, palms facing down and palms are parallel to the ground. Stay in your low lunge while engaging your core and keeping your gaze straight over your front fingertips.
4. Hold this pose for a few deep breaths before wind milling your arms back to the mat and stepping your right foot back to meet your left in a downward dog.
5. Repeat the movement on the other side.
G-Tip: Be sure to keep a close eye on your knee that is in the lunge. It tends to want to drift toward the center. You want to work on keeping your shin perpendicular to the floor with the knee tracking over the middle toe of your front foot.
DANCERS POSE (Natarajasana): This is the perfect posture to combine balance and coordination with strength and stamina.
1. Begin standing in Mountain Pose with your feet together and arms by your side.
2. Shift your weight onto your left foot.
3. Bend your right knee and bring your right heel toward your right buttock. Reach your right hand down and grab your right foot inner ankle. Bring your knees together then move on.
4. Reach your left arm overhead, pointing your fingertips toward the ceiling and facing your palm to the right.
5. Fix your gaze softly at an unmoving spot in front of you.
6. When you feel strong and stable, begin to press your right foot away from your body while you simultaneously lean your torso slightly forward. Keep your chest lifted and continue to reach your arms forward in front of you.
7. Raise your right foot as high as you can. Bring your left thigh parallel to the floor while keeping your knee in alignment, not allowing it to splay open.
8. Keep your chest lifting while breathing deeply.
9. Slowly lower and release back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
G-Tip: This posture takes a lot of mental strength. It is key to keep your gaze fixed on an unmoving spot in front of you. Move slowly and don’t be afraid to fall. If you fall, fall forward and simply get back into the pose.
FOREHEAD TO KNEE (Dandayamana Janushirasana): This is an excellent posture to strengthen balance and calmness within the body and brings great focus on and off your mat.
1. From a standing position with the feet together and your weight shifted to one foot.
2. Bring the opposite foot up so your thigh is parallel to the ground.
3. Interlace your fingers under the sole of your foot then when you are ready slowly extend your leg directly out in front of you until it is parallel to the ground.
4. Maintain balance in the pose while breathing deeply.
5. When you are strong and ready, round your spine and start to drop your elbows while lowering your forehead to your knee.
6. Hold for a few breaths then lower and repeat on the other side.
G-Tip: This posture improves balance and helps with digestion. While it is a powerful posture, take it in layers and only move from step to step as you feel strong and ready. If layer 1 & 2 are enough, that is perfect and will help improve balance while you work to add on the remaining layers.
BALANCING STICK (Tuladandasana): This pose will improve your circulatory system and helps with mental focus, concentration and balance.
1. Start standing with your feet together and arms lifted over head with palms together , fingers interlocked and index fingers pointing outwards.
2. While inhaling start to lift one leg up while allowing the upper body to pivot forward from the hips, lowering your chest to shine towards the mat and arms straight out in front.
3. Keep lifting your back leg up, with your toe pointed, until your body forms a “T”. Hold and breath then lower the back leg to the mat and arms back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
G-Tip: Imagine your arms and back leg are being pulled in either direction to form a strong “T” shape with your body. Image your pulling your body in two, creating length and strength with each breath.
EAGLE ARM POSE (Garudasana): This posture is an excellent way to improve coordination, strength and endurance while aiming to improve your focus.
1. Start standing in Tadasana. Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up and balance on your right foot.
2. Cross your left thigh over the right and hook the top of your foot behind your calve, as much as possible.
3. Stretch your arms over head then cross your arms in front of your torso so your right arm is around your left with your elbows bent.
4. Lower down into a low squat and squeeze your arms and legs together to form a tight bond with your arms and legs.
5. Hold this bound posture for 15-30 seconds then unwind the legs and arms and repeat on the other side.
G-Tip: This is an advanced posture and does take a bit of coordination. IF you are a beginner, Start by holding onto a chair for balance and focusing on balance while you sit down in an imaginary chair, not allowing your knee to come over your toe. Take this posture in layers and see how beneficial it can be.
1. Begin by kneeling upright with your knees hip-distance apart. Rotate your thighs inward and press your shins and the tops of your feet into the floor.
2. Rest your hands on the back of your pelvis, with your fingers pointing to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone down towards the floor and widen the back of your pelvis.
3. Lean back, with your chin slightly tucked toward your chest. Beginners can stay here more move on…
4. Reach back and hold onto each heel with your palms resting on your heels, fingers pointing towards your toes and your thumbs holding the outside of each foot.
5. Keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor, with your hips directly over your knees. If it is difficult to hold your heels without feeling compression in your lower back, tuck your toes to elevate your heels.
6. Lift through your pelvis, allowing your heart to shine up.
7. Hold for 30-60 seconds then slowly rise, bringing your hands back to your lower back. Lead with your heart with your head coming up last.
G-Tip: Do not practice this pose if you haves lower back injuries and be sure to gently lower into the full Camel pose. This pose is one to do once your body is warm, not when you are just getting started in your yoga practice.
Remember, our mind and bodies are connected. When we can learn to move in a loving way, our thoughts follow suit. When we tap into our internal beauty and strength, our feelings and attitude toward ourselves and others completely change. We become full of love and joy and in turn reflect that energy out into the world.