Heart Wide Open- Yoga for Self Love

This article was originally published online at the Soul-filled Cafe last week.  We had such a powerful dialogue with some amazing women on yoga, love and nurturing yourself through your yoga practice.  

Yoga for Opening Your Heart-Developing a Self Love Centered Practice

I have been on the path of my heart for over 15 years. For most of my life, I had been obsessed with love and finding a romantic partner. I spent so many years looking for love and validation outside of myself, until I realized that I had to find love in myself first. It has taken years of practice and reflection to remain on this path of self love. Yoga has been an integral part of that journey for me.

Self-love is a daily commitment to treat yourself with respect and compassion. Love begins with self acceptance, which is why yoga is such a powerful practice for nurturing self-love and opening your heart. Practicing yoga allows you to accept yourself, even the parts you don’t like.

The first time I walked into a yoga class, I had the experience of being out of my body while simultaneously feeling fully IN MY BODY. I had struggled with body issues and perfectionism my whole life and here I was letting go of the judgment and settling into myself. I continued to go to yoga class over the years because it was the one place where I could to just “be”, without judgment or criticism. Some days I could balance in Tree Pose and other days, I felt all wobbly and out of whack, just like in my life. But no matter what pose I was able to do or not do, I always left my yoga class feeling good about myself.

Until last summer when I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training, I did not have a regular yoga practice. Despite the fact that I was teaching 10 children’s yoga classes per week and could see the sense of peace in my students, I had not made a commitment to make yoga a discipline in my life. Throughout my rigorous training, I learned that yoga was much more than a physical practice, it had the potential to open my heart.

Each time I get on my mat, I am opening my heart to myself. I become more aware of myself ~ physically, emotionally, energetically. I am fully aware of my body, its strengths and its limitations. I can see where I am holding tension in my body, where I can let go more, ease up more, connect more and love myself more.

childs pose

Special thanks to Heather Gray for inviting me to share my experience and wisdom.  For more inspiring guest experts and resources to live a SOUL -FILLED LIFE be sure to stop by her website!