Sometimes we lose love for ourselves and need to train the attitude to our own body.
In yoga, there is a concept called avidya, and is explained as being in the dark, or having a lack of light (a – without / not, vidya – light). Imagine that you look at the world through a pair of glasses, and as you walk through life you end up in storms and storms that dirty your glasses, create layers and distort the truth. The layer of dirt consists of skewed body ideals, outdated norms about what is good and not and the belief that certain body attributes are better and more desirable than others. We take this as absolute truth and then live by it.
On the yoga mat you can remove the dirty glasses, clean them and let the light shine through again to show things in their proper shape. This cleaning can be a pretty sweaty process, with fast, powerful flows. Of course, it can also be more calm and methodical in a yin flow. Regardless of style, the body is an important part of you, not in appearance but in function and of course from a holistic perspective. You cannot separate yourself from your body, it is with the end, so embrace it.
When you practice, you not only exercise from the physical aspect, you also have the opportunity to practice acceptance, humility and gratitude. To combine these two parts we have put together a meditation and some affirmations. Annika Panotzkihas developed the meditation and affirmations that train self-love and gratitude. Annika works as Urban Shaman with the intention of building the bridge between an ancient wisdom into our modern society, conveying it in a more accessible language, and inspiring to dare to live her life more authentically.
Meditation for increased self-love
Sit in a comfortable position on the floor so you feel the floor below you where you sit. Or even better if you have the opportunity to sit out in nature directly on the ground, grass or cliff. Start by taking a few deep breaths and focus on extending your exhalation. Feel that for every breath you can exhale all that is on the surface, like stress and what is going on in your everyday life. For each inhalation, you may think that you are taking in the energy from the ground you are sitting on. A basic feeling, a feeling of being held in safety. Feel the feeling of how from your root chakra you can allow roots to descend into the nutrient-filled soil beneath you, which links you to Mother Earth.
Continue to walk a little deeper into yourself for each breath, into the essence of yourself where you leave everything that you are on the surface and feel a contact with who you are during all that. Now put all presence in your feet and legs. Feel the contact with your entire feet and legs while feeling the gratitude for what they give you in your life.
Keep moving to your hips and butt, put all presence here. Similarly, find something to be grateful for, something that these body parts make you feel and experience. Feel the whole back and your spine which from your “roots” carries your entire body like a steady tree trunk and gives balance to your right and left sides. Feel your stomach and go deeper, so that you can give every organ in the stomach a gratitude for their functions. Here you can begin to develop a relationship with your stomach and hear what it wants to say to you.
Instead of working against your stomach and thinking hard thoughts about it, you can have a more loving relationship. A relationship where you begin to hear the signals, where you trust that it knows exactly what your body needs to feel good. That you are guided by this “gut feeling” in every decision you face here in life. Continue with the presence of your lungs and feel the air that fills your entire lungs with new oxygen, new life and new power. How do you live each moment to honor who you are and that you have this life force within you? How do you honor yourself and your body?
Continue with the presence of your hands and arms, feel gratitude for how you can experience these with the help of these touches. How do I touch the world back? Go to your heart and put a full presence here. Feel your heart and your inner essence. How do I open my heart to myself and thus invite this strong love force into my life?
Where I can look at myself and the world with love instead of judgment? Let this feeling spread upward and soften your entire face, soften your eyes and how you look at yourself and others. Stay here for a moment at the point between the eyebrows and still all thoughts. Just sit with the feeling that you have made contact with yourself as well as with the earth beneath you. Namaste.
Affirmations for self-love
- When I look at the world from the eyes of my heart, I let go of myself and others.
- In each decision, I turn inward and be guided by my own inner voice.
- When I love myself fully with all flaws, I step out of the ego and open myself to the magic of life.
- When I feel gratitude for what I already have and am, my life flows.