If Justin Bieber has taught us anything, it’s that you should go and love yourself. But this “Bieberism” isn’t much of a new phenomenon. One of the core tenants of yoga involves self-love. There’s even specific yoga practices designed to create self-love.
Self-love (the practice of caring for yourself beyond physiological needs) looks different for every individual. Often, loving yourself is easier said than done. How you self-love might change day-to-day. Following these daily self-love activities can increase energy, enhance moods, and above all else, teach you how to love yourself.
1. Set an Intention
Each morning, before your feet touch the ground, think about what you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish that goal. For instance, how will you show your body love? How will you communicate your love to others?
An intention might be as simple as “patience”. In other words: taking time to taste each meal or spending more time listening to others.
2. Compliment Yourself
When you wake up, after lunch, and before bed, reflect on decisions made, accomplishments completed, and energy created.
Compliment yourself three times each day to remind yourself that you’re special, important, and your life matters.
Obviously, yoga helps increase self-love. But if you’re spending all of your energy trying to master crow pose, it’s easy to start harboring negative energy.
Instead, practice poses that you’ve already mastered. Completing a perfected Tree pose replaces the negative energy you’ve associated with Crow, thereby creating a loving atmosphere around your yoga flow.
Spend an extra minute or two in Shavasana. Corpse pose teaches relaxation. During meditation, your mind should be relaxed: clear of all external worries, doubts, and negative feelings. Feel the energy radiating through your chakras.
Remember: energy is purposeful. Energy magnetizes throughout your crown, heart, sacrum — hugging the essence of your being.
Visualization is a powerful practice wherein you spend time envisioning a particularly positive image you wish to become reality.
Visualize the moment when you truly love yourself. Positive visualizations help you realize that your end goals are indeed possible.
In yoga, affirmations are utilized in various ways: balancing chakras, healing, or developing self-worth. Regarding self-love, affirmations are an inextricably powerful tool for expressing gratitude and asserting your value.
Here, Lesley Fightmaster presents an affirmation-based yoga flow for stress and depression.
7. Listen Up!
Listen to your body. Hear what it is telling you. When something is wrong, the body will let you know. Oftentimes, the reasons behind our low self-esteem is rooted within the body. Quieting your mind from daily pests helps your brain tune into the body’s broadcast station.
Stop. Settle. Listen!
Exploration is foundational to self-love. Exploring what you enjoy, believe in, and are good at is important to establishing areas in your life that radiate positive energy.
Try something new, and even if you don’t immediately love the activity, congratulate yourself on exploring a new opportunity to develop self-love.
A common reason why we fail to love ourselves regularly is because we bottle up our emotions. Communicating releases energy. And if you find a community you identify with, communicating helps build positive energy within yourself.
Spending time and conversing with like-minded individuals (especially self-loving people) builds an undeniable vessel of love and positivity.
10. Let it Go
The hardest part about loving yourself might be the initial process of acceptance. Accepting that you deserve to be loved and that you are capable of loving is a necessary step. Only then will you be able to realize that you can go and love yourself.