Namaste Yogis and Yoginis!
There is plenty of scientific research substantiating how love can benefit us physically, emotionally, and mentally, as well as socially!
When we feel more loving or grateful we actually release hormones that help us to relax as well as connect more deeply with others.
However, when most of us consider love – being in it, having it, experiencing it - we think of it as something that is dependent on our relationships and conditions with others. This viewpoint can make love a difficult and endless journey. Instead, a path of self-love has been considered the path of healing and transformation for centuries.
The yogic ‘love story’ is an inner one; not dependent on others or transitory conditions. The journey of yoga is said to be a path of union; the deep experience of our own wholeness - our true nature - which is said to be love, itself.
Rumi's teachings illuminate the path of yoga:
Yoga practice can help us to discover the ways in which we block or diminish love - our wholeness. As Sharon Gannon shares, “You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.”
We can practice yoga and meditation to learn to relax more and open when we have the inclination or habit to harden or cut off. And we can also, practice love.
LOVING, THE PRACTICE
When I was in seventh grade, typing class was required. To pass, we had to memorize the keyboard. But if given a blank keyboard today, and asked to write in the letters on the keys, I could not do it by 'thinking about it.' But if I close my eyes, and put my fingers on the keyboard, I can effortlessly and instantly type the whole alphabet (or any thing dictated to me). My ability to type is beyond 'thinking' about the keys. It is ingrained in my fingers. Just as practicing typing, practicing Love (Metta) can ingrain it in your body, mind and heart so your actions are more likely to be guided by your own loving-kindness in more moments of your life.
Metta meditation, the ancient Buddhist practice, has been used to cultivate an enduring sense of compassion, friendliness and unconditional love for the self and others for 2500 years. This time tested path has proven that as one practices regularly, self-imposed limitations of love begin to melt away.
The more we practice for ourselves, the more we increase our potential to have a more nourishing impact on all those we come into contact with. As Pema Chödron teaches:
This is the ultimate Valentine.
So, this month’s issue of Yogalicious and in all my blog posts in February I will be pushing some of the best love drugs on the market!
I am including amazing new research on Metta Meditation, articles, and online guided practices. Yoga sequences to help your body open and your heart relax. As well as techniques to savor the grace filled breath; a love elixir like no other.
So come weekly to enjoy new practices and inspirations designed to help you expand your heart just a little more.
P.S. Give Yourself the Ultimate Valentine! Grab a remaining room on my Costa Rica Retreat! This will surely be the ultimate heart warming, body warming, life enhancing week. March 7-14. With only a few spots left, Pravassa Wellness Travel has this all-inclusive, complete experience, fully covered! You will be free to relax fully and take in the awe inspiring beauty, transforming yoga, delicious foods, jungle, ocean, new friends, shamanic prayer ceremony, beach bonfires and so much more! Scoop up the spot now!
QUICK HITS OF EXPANSION
MIND YOUR OWN LOVE:
Watch this awe-inspiring, heart-awakening TEDx Talk on Gratitude by Louie Schwarzberg "...Beauty and seduction is nature's tools for survival. Because we protect what we fall in love with. It opens our hearts and makes us realize we are part of nature and we are not separate from it. When we see ourselves in nature, it also connects us to every one of us, because it is clear it is all connected and one." Watch the video...
Sandalwood essential oil is not only so used for calming, centering, grounding, and relaxing but it is also used as an aphrodisiac too! If you practice alternate nostril breathing, try putting a drop on your right wrist and breathe the scent of love!