Learn to Love Yourself

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.

Wayne W. Dyer

The current social distancing measures have had a massive impact on our relationships to others, there’s an obvious effect there; but how has social distancing affected your relationship to yourself?  Really think about it…. Maybe you’ve relished having the time to do all those self-development projects you’ve been putting off?  Or possibly you are so used to doing things for others that you don’t actually know what to do with time spent on your own?

Self-love is to do with the way you think and see yourself, which can be thwarted by your internal narrative and the stories you tell yourself.  Rather than taking internal dialogue as fact, it is helpful to notice when your thoughts are based on ‘opinion’.  So often these ‘opinions’ are treated as facts  – irrefutable facts – so they become deep-rooted beliefs.  For example, when you tell yourself you can’t do something it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. These negative beliefs kill two things: hope (if you believe you can’t then there is no need to try) and growth (by not trying you cannot fail and therefore cannot learn).

Self-love shouldn’t come from the achievement of material or personal goals anyway.  In the same way that love for others shouldn’t be based on what they can provide for you – material or otherwise!  Now that our classes end with the click of a button, at One for All we’re missing the post-Yoga gratitude that we usually get from our students… hey, we’re only human too!  But the important thing is not to become dissatisfied or unhappy when there are no markers around to appreciate what you do, and instead recognise and celebrate yourself just for being you.  Easier said than done right?

The regular practice of Yoga teaches you to relax and helps to clear out any unnecessary stress in your mind and body – it’s an opportunity to relax and focus on you!  The deep breathing techniques activate the parasympathetic nervous system, dialing down your daily stresses and bringing a calm sense of peacefulness. Mental agitation is reduced as the reduction of stress encourages those negative voices in your head to become fainter and less persistent! Giving yourself time to let go and rest at the end of the class allows you to experience a deeper mind-body connection, taking you out of the cycle of negative thinking and stimulating positive change from within. 

What’s more, Yoga helps you to get to know and love yourself – your true self – not the person you want to be or think you should be!  By balancing the physical and emotional elements, you get to know yourself for who you truly are.  The process of mindful movement not only provides you with the right physiological foundation to achieve your health goals safely, but helps in getting to know yourself on a deeper and more spiritual level. A relaxing Yin or Restorative class can be particularly helpful in releasing negative energy and bringing in positive energy. So make your One for All online Yoga sessions an opportunity to cultivate self-love and celebrate any insights that come up with regards to your relationship with self.   

During the lockdown you may be feeling swamped by the intensity of your close relationships with partners working from home, kids needing to be entertained, pets demanding your undivided attention or maybe a combination of all three!  Or you may be in a one bedroom studio and spending your days alone.  It’s important to remember that whatever situation you’ve found yourself in, each and every one of us is having to adapt. Physical connection may be limited but through the sharing of your Yoga practice you are not only helping yourself get through these times but you are also helping others to get through it too.

When you love someone you want them to be happy, but what makes you happy?  Now’s a good time to reflect on how you spend your time each day of the week.  Contemplate, pay attention, and discover what you want to bring more of into your life! Break out of habits, let go of routines, and do what really makes you happy.  Set an intention to spend more time doing the things you love and remind yourself that you deserve to be doing them.  INDULGE!