Healthy Beginnings

Yoga for self-love: Care for yourself before extending love to others

Yoga allows us to embrace the high levels of self-love and acceptance that everyone should have in their lives.

They say how we “show up” on our yoga mat is the same way we “show up” in our lives.

There are many personal reasons why we choose to “show up” on our mat and for our yoga practice. Hopefully, self-love is one of those reasons, but what matters most is that we make the effort to step away from our busy lives and show up for ourselves.

We live and function in a very fast-paced world, always doing, always thinking. In the midst of the chaos that is our lives, it is often easy to forget that we so desperately need that time for ourselves to turn inward and discover the intricacies of our mind, the capabilities of our unique bodies, and to step into our truth, power and strength.

We must consciously dedicate time for ourselves so that we can remember to celebrate the abundance of love that we are.

The time spent nurturing our bodies and taking care of us is as critical to our mental health as our physical health. A consistent practice can help us learn to quiet and train the mind to respond, rather than react. As we become less tight and rigid on the mat, we become more flexible in our lives.

We must learn to take the time to care for, and to value, ourselves before we will be able to extend that love and care to others.

Yoga gives us the opportunity to practice this by encouraging us to focus on self-love. It reminds us to give our attention and appreciation to the poses our bodies CAN do, rather than focus on our limitations.

We thrive when we give ourselves permission to do the best we can, rather than wanting to achieve the “perfect” pose or the “perfect” body.

Perhaps most importantly, yoga offers us tools to take with us off of the mat and into our chaotic lives — where self-love and acceptance matters the most.

When a pose becomes difficult, when your body is shaking, when your mind is complaining, how do you choose to show up? When you wake up late for work only to discover you locked your keys in your car, how do you choose to show up?

The answer is always the same … choose love. Not because it’s the right thing to do, but because you — more than anyone — deserve the love you have to give.

Brittany Wade is a certified yoga teacher and instructor at Freestyle Fitness, located at 9590 S. McCarran Blvd. in Reno. Check out fsfitness.net for class times and try a free class.