Thursday, 9 February 2017

Yoga poses for self-love

It's Valentine's Day soon so love is in the air, but just as important as the love we have for others is the love we have for ourselves. Let's be clear -  loving yourself is not the same as being selfish.  When you indulge in a little self care, everyone around you benefits.  Also I believe until you can love yourself, you cannot fully love others.  But society does not encourage us to love ourselves - we are surrounded by messages that indicate we are not acceptable unless we look a certain way, behave a certain way and even think a certain way. As a result many of us develop a self-critic which gets in the way of our self-love.  For some of us far from having self-love we experience self-loathing. 

The truth is we all have a beauty that comes from the divine that shines within but sometimes the clouds of our minds mask it. The following poses will help you release negative feelings, and open up to see the divine within so that you can love yourself once more.  You will need two cushions and a bolster.

Supta Baddha Konasana - lie with your knees bent, heels close into the buttocks. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees release your knees down towards the mat. Support your thighs with cushions to protect your SI joint.  Stay here for a few minutes watching your breath.  When you are ready to come out of the pose, bring your hands to the outsides of your thighs and draw your knees together.  Either rock up or come onto your right side and come up.  Come onto all fours then breathe out lift your hips into a Downward Facing Dog.  

Low lunge with lotus mudra - from Downward Facing Dog, breathe in stretch your right leg up then bring your right foot between your hands.  Breathe out release the left knee to the mat.  Breathe in come up and bring your hands into Lotus mudra, thumbs and little fingers joined the other fingers spread and open. Reach up as you curl back to connect with the divine.  To come out of the pose, breathe out take your hands to the mat and step back to Downward Facing Dog.  Repeat second side then walk your feet forward and slowly roll to standing.

Hug a Tree - stand in the centre of the mat and take your weight into your left foot.  Find a drishti, gaze point and bring your right foot to your left ankle or shin or reach down and bring your right foot to your left thigh - avoid placing your right foot against your left knee.  Take your right hand to your left shoulder, your left hand to your right shoulder. Breathe out to release.

Legs up the Wall with bolster - sit by a wall with your knees bent and your right hip up against the wall.  Swivel your hips so that your legs come up the wall.  Shuffle your bottom as close as you can to the wall.  Lift your hips and pull a bolster under you.  Position your arms where is comfortable for you, either a little way from your body, overhead or bring your hands to rest on your heart.  Close your eyes if you wish and spend 10-15 minutes in the pose if you can.  To come out of the pose roll onto your right side and spend a minute there with your knees drawn up to your chest before coming up.

Taking a little 'me' time each day will help you feel more centered and relaxed. 

You might also like the following yoga posts from my blog:-

'Valentine's Day'-
'Valentine's Day-5 poses for opening up to love'-
'How yoga boosts heart health'-

Also on my 'sister' blog, 40plusandalliswell:-
'Love your heart'-
'Share the love-it's good for you'-


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