What does self-love mean?
how can you develop it? And what does self-love have to do with yoga?
Many wish for more self-love - but what is that actually? And how can you take more time for yourself despite a full calendar? Here I share with you my everyday tips for yoga exercises, meditations and affirmations on the topic of self-love. It is my absolute heart topic and flows into all projects of Inti Yoga. I even have my own Self Love Yoga Retreat Program developed.
In this article you can expect:
- Self love can be practiced
- What does self-love mean?
- Why do we find it so difficult?
- How to start integrating self-love into your everyday life
- Self-love tips for your everyday life
- 3 myths about self love
- More affirmations for self love
What does self-love mean?
For me, there are three levels of self-love, which we will look at in more detail here:
I have the ability to recognize and accept myself - here and now - as I am. With all feelings, with my body as it is right now, with all my thoughts.
Through self-acceptance we create a basis of respect and peace within ourselves. Through this basis we find with time more satisfaction with our body, in our relationships and also a certain sovereignty can arise. Because the more you accept yourself, including all your inaccessibilities, the easier it is for you to accept others as they are.
I recognize myself and like myself the way I am.
I am good enough.
I can decide - in every moment - whether I act in the sense of my heart or against myself.
Self-care doesn't necessarily mean that we spend hours every day oiling ourselves and drinking the most expensive teas. Rather, from my perspective, self-care concerns in what sense we act: Am I doing this for myself or for others? Am I going somewhere because I want to or because it is (supposedly) required of me?
Self-care also means serving our own needs first and then lovingly caring for others. It's the principle of the oxygen mask in an airplane: put on your own first so that you can then help others. You'll learn why this has nothing to do with selfishness below in the 3 myths about self-love.
I like to take care of myself to come into my full power.
I trust myself and value myself.
If you criticize yourself all the time, you lose confidence in yourself. If you know you're okay, you don't have to prove or distinguish yourself to others. Self-esteem is the measure of how much we value and respect ourselves. The amount of value you ascribe to yourself. You can best measure the stability of your self-esteem when someone else criticizes you or when you don't succeed as planned. How do you handle it? Practice communicating lovingly and respectfully with yourself.
I know my worth and respect myself.
Why is it so hard for us to love ourselves?
Our brains have been trained to look for danger since the history of mankind. That is why it is still the case today that we often notice the negative first. It was a great danger for man to be excluded from the community. So man has begun to pay close attention to his faults and to what the community does not like.
Now today, we still want to be loved and liked by everyone. Even by the people who go beyond our "community". This need is deeply ingrained in our subconscious.
But we may begin to learn that our survival is no longer dependent on whether all people always love us. We can allow ourselves not to be encouraged and confirmed sometimes. That it is okay to have a different opinion or, for example, to adopt a different lifestyle.
So, in the present age, we may begin to unfold our true selves, feel our emotions, and fully accept ourselves with all our needs and desires.
What does yoga say about self-love? How you can learn true self-love with the Yoga Sutra and the 5 Kleshas, you will learn here: With yoga to more self-love
Small personal anecdote:
I moved into my camper at the beginning of May 2021 and have dissolved everything else to work and live location-independent and close to nature. This way of life meets with incomprehension and resentment every now and then. Since I am not dependent on being loved and encouraged by everyone, I can continue to follow my path. In the certainty that my value is not diminished by the rejection of others.
How to start integrating self-love into your everyday life
Everything begins within you...
...and in your calendar.
Self-love begins with setting aside time for yourself to reflect and do things that nourish you soulfully.
We rarely postpone doctor's appointments, a walk with the dog, a long-agreed meeting, brushing our teeth or going shopping. Things we do because they have to be done - even if we don't feel like it at the moment, are too tired, too listless, too exhausted. We do them anyway.
How about having a date with yourself on the calendar that you learn to look at in the same way as those everyday to-dos that we attach so much meaning and importance to?
How about nothing could shake this appointment with you?
I recommend you to start small: What is NOW, right in this moment, the smallest possible step you could take to arrive more at yourself? Maybe close your eyes for a moment and breathe in and out calmly three times? Maybe put the cell phone away. Maybe brew yourself a fresh cup of tea. This is where self-love begins, with the little breaks and pauses - to briefly look at "how am I doing right now?".
If you want to go a little further and allow yourself some time off to recharge your batteries and get back to yourself, I recommend you do the following:
3 myths about self love
Maybe negative associations with self-love are holding you back from taking better care of yourself? For example, these myths (which are not true, of course):
1. "Self-love is selfish".
It is not. 🙂 It would be selfish to rush through life every day and tend to be exhausted, stressed or annoyed. Because you transfer this energy, without wanting to, to your fellow men, be it your family, colleagues or the cashier in the supermarket.
However, if you allow yourself restorative phases, such as practicing yoga, quietly making a cup of tea or coffee and taking a mini-break, attending a workshop, taking a walk, or quietly reading a book, you can face those around you with more love, centeredness, and contentment.
We are also more focused and therefore more attentive when we relax as well: We can listen more closely and respond to the needs of our loved ones.
2. "Self-love is not productive".
We often believe that every action must have a goal. In my yoga classes I often say "practiced without achievement, without goal".
I maintain that there is value in learning that everything should always be productive and that it is a gift to do something for the sake of the process.
3. "I need a lot of time for self-love".
You are very welcome to take a lot of time for your self-love.
But if you're short on time right now, use the tips above to find your little downtime amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
More affirmations for self love
Last but not least, I would like to share with you my favorite affirmations that you can use as an intention for your Yoga practice or hang it on your mirror:
ॐ I allow myself not to have to achieve anything. (Because you are allowed to simply be).
ॐ I am allowed to relax.
ॐ I don't have to do anything. I don't have to go anywhere. Life comes to me.
ॐ With breathing in yoga: Inhale: "I am." Exhale: "Wonderful."
ॐ I accept myself. I accept my most beautiful qualities and also those that are more difficult for me to accept. I accept my body and its sensitivities. I accept where I am today in my life. I also accept my past in order to learn to love myself unconditionally.
I wish you from my heart that you find this beautiful connection to yourself, expand and learn to love. I wish all the time a deep friendship with yourself.
From my heart to yours,
If you are interested in the topic of self-love, here you have beautiful opportunities to go on the journey: