February 24 2017 | by Kristin McGee
Breathe in the self-love.
In today’s world of glossy photos on social media, it can be hard not to be judgmental and critical of one’s self. We see perfect meals and rock-hard abs and start to lose sight of what it truly means to love ourselves from the inside out. As long as we keep measuring our self worth from the outside, we will always fall short of having an unconditional love with our body, mind, and soul.
Yoga, the union of the mind and the body via the breath, is one of the best ways I know to foster self-love. I’ve been practicing yoga since the early nineties and it truly has transformed the way I treat myself. Once I started to take the time to listen to my breath and tap into my true instincts, I naturally treated my body better.
At first, I fell in love with the flexibility and ease of movement yoga gave me. Then, I started to really take pride in the amazing strength I gained and being able to balance myself on my hands, head, or one leg. Lastly, I tapped into the meditative aspects and moving with my breath so I was always in sync with my own rhythm. So often we try to move at someone else’s pace and it goes against our true nature.
The first step on the road to loving yourself is to understand yourself. Make a list of your positive spiritual (not physical) characteristics. These might include honesty, integrity, kindness, productiveness, etc. Take some time to think about it and bring your thoughts into full consciousness. Then make a list of your flaws. Most people will find that their negatives are often trivial when compared to their positives. Why berate yourself over the tiniest mistakes?
Now, accentuate your positives! If you are particularly good at doing something, set aside more time to indulge and improve your skills on it as I have done with my yoga practice. This will boost your self-confidence dramatically.
Inject some fun into your life. Pursue happiness. Don’t take yourself too seriously; life is supposed to be enjoyable. Make time to relax with whatever nourishes your spirit be it music, reading, theater, or whatever. Finally, it is important that you strengthen yourself with regular exercise and good nutrition. Self-love is a journey, and all of these are important steps to take towards getting there.