Love is more than a feeling...it is a basic instinct and a vital aspect of our existence. In the same way babies need love for survival, as adults, we too, need a deeper connection and sense of intimacy with others. When we think, speak or act from a place of love, our lives begin to flow. We find ourselves inspired and aligned with our work and purpose, our relationships become supportive and nourishing, and abundance seems to arrive in all shapes and forms. These shifts can feel like mini (or big!) miracles -- and the best part is that we have the ability to create them, everyday! A miracle is simply a change in perspective, which is related to a cognitive shift in our thinking process. It happens when we move from a place of fear and serve ourselves in the highest way possible, by cultivating more trust, gratitude and allowing a cycle of growth: reflection, acknowledgement, compassion and discernment moving forwards.
This practice is most easily tapped into when we are nourished from within, through a process of deep listening and honoring. These moments of self-nourishment (in whatever shape or form they take) are healthy periods of gestation and integration. They are absolutely necessary for action, creativity and growth.
Yoga encourages us to look within and build intimacy with ourselves, in order to self-nourish and channel more love into every aspect of our lives.
Through the practices we loosen and release years (even lifetimes!) of blockages (stress, trauma, etc.) that have built up, restore and balance the nervous system and become more aligned with our intuition and authentic Self.
It is inevitable that the benefits felt in body and mind will eventually follow us off the mat and shape-shift the many layers of our existence -- most importantly they will open and strengthen the heart space to live with more courage, peace and positivity.
The same way in which we build muscles in our physical body, we work to build energetic strength in mind and heart.
The more that we move from a place of love, the more easily we can cultivate it at any given moment.
Our yoga practice is one of the many paths which heals and invites awareness to help us love every moment.
Create more love in your life through a 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 an intention. Keep the intention positive and in the present moment as if it is already happening.
For example: I am loved and can share this with others
Allow this intention to follow you throughout your practice through 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 devote each backbend to a specific person or aspect of your life that could use more love.
While in your backbends, 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.
LAUREN LEE E-RYT 500 is passionate about living with purpose, exploring the world, and empowering others to live as their most authentic, radiant Self. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated teacher and forever student on the path of yoga, she leads transformational workshops, retreats and trainings to awaken the individual and collective consciousness. Read more about her here