Yoga off the Mat: What is Love?

Love is in the air for February. But what about in your daily life? Love is a great healing power in the yogic world, but not always realized or practiced off the yoga mat.

There are many ways to experience, to share, to learn love. Yoga can help you appreciate it practically and meaningfully, every day. Begin with yourself. This starts with engaging in learning patterns of your mind and cultivating new positive ways of being. Begin with a loving-kindness meditation, called Metta Bhavana.

Meditation stems from prolonged or deep concentration, which in the Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, is referred to as “Dhyana.” It is not simply a thing to do, but something that you allow to happen to you and that you allow to feel.  Meditation is a state of mind, and it cannot be controlled. Allow awareness to help transform your mind: this is mindfulness.

Below is my Fit2bWell adapted guide inspired by my favorite readings to help bring Metta Bhavana into your daily practice. This is a reflection of my love for life to help ignite your unconditional love for yourself, and may you spread this power to all around you.

1.)   Sit comfortably

2.)   Close your eyes

3.)   Reflect on your own goodness by thinking of a time when you showed kindness, compassion to others. Bring attention to one of your strengths that you appreciate. Smile.

4.)   Take a deep breath and notice how you feel. Really notice.

5.)   Begin to repeat these phrases, loud enough for you to hear the words:

·       May I be safe from inner and outer harm

·       May I be happy and peaceful

·       May I be healthy and strong

·       May I be able to take care of myself with joy

6.)   Take another deep breath and notice how you feel. Yes, again. Really notice

7.)   Repeat as often as you feel. It may be different each time. Say it with authenticity.

Practice is the key. There is no magic. There is no destination for completion.  Let the love sink in. You might get bored, or feel undeserved at times, but don’t give up. Everyone deserves self-love to receive never-ending love. You don’t need a month, a day, or an expensive gift, to remind you the importance of that. You are worth it.

“In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?”.” – Gautama Buddha

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