I have been falling in love. Falling in love with the idea of a date with yourself. Let me explain why.
A date with yourself is a moment where you will focus solely on your own needs, you take the time to listen, you are understanding and nurturing.
When I started thinking about this, I realized that I hardly ever do this for myself. How often do you take the time to listen to what you need? How often do you allow yourself the time to deal with everything that has come your way? How often do you make time to dig inside and figure out bigger questions in life?
In the world we live in, things are thrown at us constantly, via the internet, television, our phones, our surrounding, by the need to constantly be connected.
Connected to the cloud and other people, but not to ourselves.
Nowadays when you look around, anywhere really – restaurants, bars, bus stops, yoga schools, stores, in the street, etc. – whenever someone is alone they immediately grab their phones.
- Your phone is there to connect to others, so you don’t feel alone.
- Your phone is there to entertain you, so you don’t get bored.
- Your phone is there to protect you, so you don’t have to interact with strangers.
- Your phone is there, so you ARE distracted.
As a yoga teacher, I repeatedly remind my students of connecting to the breath, connecting to what happens in the body. These reminders bring you in the moment, it helps you to be where you are without too many distractions. So in a way, yoga is a date with yourself. It is a set time to take care of your mind, your body and your spirit.
To me yoga is the perfect tool to get out of my mind and into my body. It is a perfect way to ground myself and see where I am at. I guess that everyone who practices yoga also has the experience that the mind doesn’t silence, but keeps on throwing things at you. Often useless stuff. So I started experimenting with bringing in themes – things we deal with in daily life – and move with my breath to explore how that makes me feel and what comes up.
A practice that has helped me understand myself better, I am able to make sense out of the things I deal with in daily life. Is it easy? No! Am I confused about what comes up? Most certainly! But I have also noticed that I can connect to how it makes me feel and I have learned to accept whatever feeling comes up. Happy, angry, frustrating – it is all there.
If you want to practice this on your own, work with a concept of something you work through.
- Start your practice in a seated meditation and speak your theme out loud.
- Take at least a minute to sit with it. Arrive on your mat, arrive with your breath, arrive in your body.
- Start your practice and keep reminding yourself about the theme.
- Explore how it makes you feel. And what makes you feel that way.
- Don’t judge yourself. Be constructive in your feedback and loving in the communication with yourself.
- End with a seated meditation and take at least 10 deep breaths in and out.
- Additional: free write for (minimal)10 mins. Anything that comes up concerning your theme.
The time on your mat, the time you spend getting to know yourself is invaluable. It’s a date with yourself. A date where you want to get to know the other person, you ask questions, you have fun, you don’t judge, you are in the moment, you are engaging, funny, serious and loving. That’s why I have fallen in love with it. Because I am falling in love with me.