Valentine's Day is upon us, making it a perfect time for me to talk about one of my favorite topics - self love.
This morning, I taught my usual Sunday morning Renew Body Sequence (TM) yoga class at Joy They Bring Yoga and Wellness in Uxbridge. I have been teaching on Sunday mornings there since they opened last summer. Renew Body Sequence (TM) is an intentional sequencing of poses to move the body through the lifecycle, gradually building core strength, fostering spiritual awareness, and healing cellular memories from earlier times in our life as we move. I am really looking forward to sharing more about this healing sequence soon, via an on-line program that you will get the first offer for since you are already on my mailing list!
As I began to set-up the focus for this morning's class, I realized that I have been teaching self-love for ten years. Ten years! Holy wow, how did that go by so quickly? Does ten years of teaching something make me an expert on it? I'm not sure because I'm still learning every day.
As many of you know, my self-love journey did not begin with self-love. It more-or-less began with self-LOATHE. I mean, honestly, I spent decades hating on myself. I hated on my body, I hated on my face, I hated on everything that I wasn't and wished that I was. Truly, I knew that loving oneself was the right thing to do, I just wasn't able to do it.
Back in November of 2006, I had a very pivotal moment, during my first Nia teacher training, when I realized that I was worthy of love, just because I exist. But I didn't just realize it, I felt it in my heart and my soul. And, I felt that this is true for everyone. Once I experienced this shift in awareness, I became determined to share it with everyone I possibly could - through the Nia classes that I taught. Even though I have shifted my classes from Nia to Renew Body Sequence (TM) and RBS - Extended Play (TM), I am still teaching self-love. I want to share with you three great "short-cuts" to your own self-love breakthrough that I have been sharing with my classes for all of these years.
The first one is called "mirror work," and it has been made famous by best selling author, Louise Hay. Louise teaches us to look ourselves in the mirror and recite the words, "I love you, (insert your name here), I really, really love you." Look at yourself in the eyes and
really speak to yourself. It might feel strange or challenging at first, but the more you practice it, the easier it becomes. Try it now! If you don't have a mirror nearby, you can use your phone on the selfie setting.
The second one is the self love pyramid. If self love seems like too big of a reach, imagine a pyramid. In the first corner at the base is self awareness - the simple act of really becoming aware of yourself. The second corner contains self acceptance - accepting oneself "as is" - not changing a thing. At the top of the pyramid is self-love. So begin with self awareness. Take sometime to look at yourself in the mirror without comparing yourself to anyone else. Notice everything. And then shift to accepting things as they are. Think of all the reasons you have to love yourself. I bet you have been through a lot! I bet you deserve so much love! Imagine how a witness who has seen everything you have lived through would love you... Can you love yourself like that?
And now for the best one! Give yourself a great, big hug! I've heard that we need at least eight hugs per day. I know that even with a wonderful husband, and four great boys, I don't always get eight hugs per day. So the self hug is the way to go. There are a million ways to do it. Sit up and fold forward to wrap your arms around your legs. Bring your knees up to your chest and wrap your arms around them. There is no wrong way to do it. Virtually any yoga pose can be turned into a chance to give yourself a hug. Give it a try!
For the last nine days, I have been participating in my first Instagram yoga challenge. Every day I have posted a photo of a different #yogahug. If you want to follow me on Instagram click here https://www.instagram.com/bonniemyahwallace/ or follow me @bonniemyahwallce. I'd love to see some pics of your yoga hugs, too! Happy Valentine's Day, loves! May you give yourself all the self love that you deserve! Namaste.
PS - I have a really special Valentine's day class this week, so I hope you can join me at one of these times:
Tuesday 12 noon at Union Street Yoga, 25 Union Street in Worcester
Wednesday 7:15pm USY
Thursday 12 noon USY
Friday 5:30pm at Nia Connecticut in Dayville, CT
Sunday 9:30am at Joy They Bring, 19 Depot Street in Uxbridge
Yoga hugs guaranteed!