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Love Within The Practice

A love theme is fitting the week after Valentines Day, don't you think?

Do you ever have intense moments on your mat? Where you feel every bone and muscle in your body working? Where you feel like your teacher is relentless and you start to get angry with them and wish they'd sympathize with your pain? Yup, today was one of those days for me.

These kinds of classes are always challenging mentally. My mind wants to take over, to chatter, to go into the negative zone. Today, something my teacher said stopped me. "Love is at the heart of the yoga practice. Do everything you do on your mat in love." 

Here a few ways I thought of to "practice love" (kindness, ahimsa, or non-harm) on your mat:
  1. Show love by practicing kind thoughts during challenging poses
  2. Show love by taking a break when your body is past it's limit.
  3. Show love by honoring your body and your practice rather than wishing it were someone else's.
  4. Show love by staying within your limits and choosing not to force anything.
  5. Show love by smiling or practicing gratitude during a challenging pose (like chair. or boat. or dancer. or whatever pose makes your mind go crazy!)
  6. Show love by smiling at a neighbor when you make eye contact.
  7. Show love by listening to your breath and letting go of the negative thoughts and much as possible. 
  8. Show love in the way you move through your flow, mindfully choosing each step along the way.
    1. Vinyasa means many things, one of which is Vinyasa Krama- "step by step." Let each step be a journey, an adventure, another moment to love, well... you!
There are so many ways to practice love on your mat! What are some ways you can think of?

Something as simple as remembering that love is behind it all- not just behind yoga, but behind everything we do as human beings- can radically shift your perspective and outlook on your day, your week, even your life! See love today in all things, and see how you are changed because of it.



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