5 Ways Yoga + Meditation Can Help You Find Love For Self + Others
Learning to love ourselves and others is harder than it seems.
While we’re born into this world seeing the best in people and intuitively knowing how to love ourselves and others unconditionally and wholeheartedly, it’s a skill we are quickly taught to forget. Instead, we replace our inner love bugs with walls in an attempt to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, more often than not, these walls fail to protect us and instead shield us from the love we so desperately want.
Recently, we told you about Alexa Silvaggio, a service-based yoga and mediation teacher working to change the way we experience joy. After working her way from an eating disorder to self love, she’s passionate about helping others to do the same.
For her, the secret to love for self and others can be found in yoga and meditation. Here, are the 5 ways she says yoga and meditation can help you find love.
How Yoga + Meditation Help You Find Love For Self + Others
- You learn compassion for the process. “Yoga is a practice in compassion. It doesn’t matter if you’re “good” at it – we learn to meet ourselves where we are,” says Silvaggio. Learning to love ourselves and others is also a process. There’s no such thing as being “good” at it, instead, we just practice and do our best to treat ourselves and others with an open heart.
- You start to pay attention. “Meditation brings you to a state of consciousness that allows you to see your thoughts. When you are unconscious you can think all sorts of horrible things about yourself and not even notice. Noticing is EVERYTHING. Because when you notice your thoughts, you can consciously shift them,” she explains. You know that inner dialogue that tells you you’re not good/fit/smart/sharp/hard-working/etc enough? Yeah, meditation will help silence that. It will also help you tune in with your intimate partners in a much deeper way.
- You focus on being, not just doing. “You are a human being, not a human doing. Doing less, and being ok with your humanity is a huge part of a yoga practice. Letting your body be where it is, and noticing the sensations in the body is pivotal. You don’t need to do anything, be anything specific or have anything. Yoga teaches us, that we are enough as we ARE.” Everyone (especially YOU!) is deserving of love. Practice that!
- It’s not a competition! “Compare, despair,” Silvaggio says. “When I was anorexic I would compare myself to everyone. The lady in the elevator, the dancer next to me at the ballet barre, the girl at the coffee shop. In yoga and meditation, it’s not about being better than anyone else, it’s about staying present with the information your body has for you.” Appreciate the brilliance in others without it diminishing your own – this will not only help to boost your own self love, it will also help shift the framework through which you view your intimate partners.
- You’ll create a loving ritual. “Yoga and meditation aren’t something you do once or twice and you’re good to go. No, no, no, it’s a daily practice. An emotional and mental check in, and clear out, if you will. Practicing yoga and meditation is a sure way to consistently come home to your body, and give it the food, thoughts, and feelings that actually serve.” Love for self and others is also a process – one you’ll constantly need to work on and tweak.