Loving Kindness

February 9, 2022

With Valentine's Day around the corner, February is a great month to reflect on love, kindness, and friendship. Often we think about showing love and kindness to others, but how often do we think about showing love and kindness to ourselves?

When I practice yoga, I view it as "me-time". It's something I do for me to feel good physically, mentally, and sometimes emotionally. That doesn't mean I enjoy every pose or class I take, but I feel good carving time out of my busy schedule to do something I enjoy. In general, I try to do something for me every day, whether that is yoga, reading a book, baking, talking with friends, or watching a favorite tv show. I spend so much time each day crossing things off my to do list, that I want to take a few moments to unwind and relax. This is not always possible or easy, but I feel it is important for my emotional well-being.

Back to yoga, it is really important to show love and kindness to our bodies as well. I've been thinking a lot about this in my practice recently because I sometimes feel frustrated that I cannot do everything due to my wrist problems. I've worn a brace on my wrist while practicing yoga for over a year and sometimes I don't try more challenging postures because I know it will put extra pressure on my wrist. This can be frustrating mentally because I want to challenge myself to try new things, but I also need to listen to my body. I know I will regret it if I'm in pain later in the day or can't do certain things. I have also learned to use props or modify poses in order to take pressure off my wrist. Some days I'm able to fly in inversions and others I take a rest and use a block or do a pose on my knees. I'm listening to my body and showing it love and kindness.

I had this similar conversation with a yogi I was teaching last week too. His knees were bothering him, so I said we would do the warrior poses on our knees. That way he could still practice the poses and stretches but it would take pressure off his knees. He was sad at first because he wants to be able to do it, but after thinking for a couple moments, realized it was a good idea so he didn't cause extra strain on his body. As a result, he was able to show love and kindness to himself.

Take a few moments to reflect on what you do for yourself throughout the week. How can you show yourself love and kindness?