It’s February… The month to love yourself!

Happy February and Happy Yogic Love! And what a special month this is with Valentine’s Day in a couple of weeks. Now that doesn’t mean loving someone else (if you are/ aren’t in a relationship) but this month is all about loving yourself. Whilst it’s nice to receive flowers and chocolates from your loved ones, I have found that to be loved you must first love yourself.

I am guilty of falling into the ‘busy’ trap and helping others too much and not focusing on me. Whilst this isn’t a bad quality to have of course, sometimes, you have to be selfish – so what better way to do this then Metta meditation. As I spoke about in my previous blog post, meditation was one of my top tips for January (which I hope you’ve all been working on) and in turn your motivation levels should have started to increase and you should have noticed a change in your mind?

With this positive energy, turns positive corners in your health and there’s no better way than trying out some different types of meditation like Metta! Originating from pali language where ‘metta’ means love this type teaches us how we should love our self before loving others – perfect! And for you busy bee’s, again this only takes 10 minutes and can be done anywhere – whether it’s in the workplace/at home/ on public transport, there’s no excuse here!

Another one for the month of love, is Bhakti Yoga. Now why do I say this? Well, Bhakti Yoga is dedicated “to love”. This was originally practiced in a Hindu culture but due to its focus being God it can be practiced by many other religions, and if you’re not religious that’s ok too!

This type of yoga doesn’t focus so much on breathing techniques so you may still want to incorporate some of your daily practices whilst doing this one. If you want to learn more I will be doing a blog post on this to give you some top tips and please, if you’ve tried this one before I am very interested to know how you found it, it’s something very different and gets a lot of negative press around it. Of course, this one can be practiced any time of the year and not just in the month of love!

But, if that doesn’t appeal to you, then why don’t you work on some heart opening yoga. By stretching these muscles you are not only opening your heart but releasing emotion which in turn will release positive energy making you feel great and keeping your spirits high. It doesn’t need to just be a special occasion to keep the spirits high; we have this within us we just need to work on it – so why not incorporate these poses monthly rather than just this month, you will notice a difference and hopefully will learn to love yourself more!

Here are a few of the top heart opening yoga poses I want you to try in the next couple of weeks and if you like them, please add them into your daily routines…

  1. Extended Tabletop
  2. Arching Warrior
  3. Upward Facing Dog
  4. One Armed Camel Pose
  5. Bow
  6. Wheel
  7. Wide Tip-over Tuck
  8. Twisting extended side angle

And if you prefer to work out with your partner, then Yoga has some of the best Valentine’s Day poses! I was lucky enough to try these on a yoga retreat and I found it was a great way to communicate and develop self-awareness for my own boundaries, just like we need to in a relationship.

So my top 8 here are…

  1. Partner Wide-Legged Forward Fold
  2. Partner Tree
  3. Arching heart (my favourite – take a picture, its beautiful!)
  4. Partner Bound Angle
  5. Partner Bow Pose
  6. Savasana Neck Rub
  7. First Chakra Chair Kriya
  8. Seated Shoulder Opening Twist

heartarching

Now you can call that different over a day that can be so clichéd and may I just add my partner loved it (but of course, what is not to love in yoga!) But, if I still haven’t stolen your heart with any of the above then all I ask of you this month is to just focus on yourself! Open your heart and do what you love to love yourself. Of course, I hope that will include Yoga because after all who needs to be head over heels with a man who provides chocolates and flowers when you can be head over heels in Yoga! Loving you is the greatest gift and your love should belong to your yoga teacher!