Whole Life Magazine

February/March 2020

Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/1207713

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12 wholelifetimes.com healthy living T he spark of spring is upon us in Southern California. To stay in the reflective energies of winter, it is great to nurture a little self-care. If you have faced a flu that forced you to get rest or perhaps those new year's resolutions are getting challenging to keep, don't be hard on yourself. We have all those pessimistic thoughts and feelings mulling about every day in our minds and hearts. You can learn to acknowledge and let go of the negative thought patterns and the places they are held in your body through self-love yoga. Here are tips to open your heart and release some of that energy: ASANAS: Incorporate heart-opening poses. Cat Pose to Cow Pose: Warm up your spine. u Begin with your hands and knees on the floor in neutral tabletop position. Your knees are under your hips, and your wrists are under your shoulders. With your back flat and your abs engaged, inhale deeply. u Exhale, round your spine up toward the ceiling, engaging your abs. Tuck your chin toward your chest, and let your neck release. This is cat pose. u On your inhale, arch your back, let your belly relax fully. Lift your head and open your heart up toward the sky. This is cow pose. u Keep flowing back and forth from cat to cow, with your breath leading you. u Repeat 10 rounds. Camel Pose: Surrender to the unknown in your heart with this backbend. u Kneel down keeping your knees under your hips. Place your hands on the back of your pelvis, palms on the top of the buttocks, fingers pointing down. Inhale, lengthen, and exhale gently and arch back, starting to open your chest. Keep opening your heart to the sky during the exhalation. u If you can, reach your right hand back toward your right heel, and your left on your left heel. Your hands are there for support; refrain from leaning all your weight into them. u Keep the position of your chest with tops of feet flat on floor. Pay attention to shifting weight forward, increasing the stretch you feel in your belly and chest. u Lower your head behind you. If you have neck issues, keep the chin tucked instead. u Complete for five breaths. u Release the pose and bring your chin toward your chest. Firm your abs and support your lower back with your hands as you slowly bring your body to an upright kneeling position. u Close your eyes and sit on your heels. BREATHING INTO MEDITATION: Focus on self-love. u Sit in lotus pose. u Place hands on heart, breathing deeply in and out. u Set an intention of something you want to work on to gain more self-love. Think body positivity. Let go of doubts or emo- tional struggles. It is all about your relationship with yourself. u Inhale a new energy and thought pattern with "I am" state- ments. If it is body positivity say, "I love my body as it is." u Exhale and feel old energy dispersing. It is okay to feel vulnerable at this stage. u Do 5-10 rounds on the same topic. u Softly melt into a meditation focusing on your heart chakra. Explore and keep it light! If you realize that parts of yourself have been packed away in a tight little box, be kind to yourself by gently tapping into your authentic self. Feel everything that is uncomfortable with the beauty of your unique self. You will deepen into love, for love is the highest vibration and what makes the world go round! Om Shanti! Tess Anson is a Yoga & Vedic lifestyle teacher who lives in Los Angeles. Embrace Your Natural Flow! Photos: Aleksandr Davydov By Tess Anson SELF-LOVE YOGA

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