I would say that the hardest part of life is accepting ourselves where we currently are. Popular culture and society are constantly putting pressures on people to produce the next best thing. So in doing so, it is extremely easy to throw on a face and walk out the door. I’m guilty of it a lot of days because it can help you survive through even the hardest of days without letting the world know that you’re normal. It is completely normal to struggle, to deal with pain, to make mistakes, and to fail. Does it mean that we don’t continue to strive in the present and enjoy the experience? Not at all. I continue to strive daily. But at the end of the day, you live within your own mind. The words that you speak softly to yourself and reinforce with your actions allow you to build love for yourself. It doesn’t happen overnight and I know that I struggle with this. The practice of Yoga allows for the connection between the body and the mind so that loving yourself becomes the norm. You can only give something that you have to someone. Why not give them the love that you have gathered up inside you for yourself?
“Every single physical act triggers a change in your brain chemistry so the more we do positive things like practicing Yoga, eating foods that are good for us, listening to inspiring music, reading poetry, seeing inspiring art, the better we feel.” Every time you step onto your Yoga mat, if your intention is to listen to your body and honor your limitations, you are giving yourself the opportunity to practice self-love.
“You can’t really love somebody else without loving yourself. You can only extend to others what you have offered yourself.”
The kinds of messages you send to yourself, on and off your Yoga mat, make a difference in how you feel. When you give self-doubt and criticism free rein in your mind, you are setting yourself up for a felt experience of depression in your body and mind. Yoga can help you talk to yourself more gently.
For thousands of years, Yoga has addressed our thoughts and how we can reframe them, not only through physical practices that alter our perceptions and through the use of affirmations, but also through acceptance.
This self observation without judgment is the beginning of change.
BOOK – “Yoga for Depression” by Amy Weintrab