By Malissa Schwamm, Yoga Manager
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha.
It’s said that the hardest person to love is oneself. When you look in the mirror, do you see flaws instead of beauty? Do you find yourself caught up in the comparison game fretting about what others will think or say? Instead of longing for the acceptance of others, begin to shift your mindset toward the act of self-love; finding contentment in knowing and loving yourself for who you are, just as you are today.
Quiet your inner critic with these practical exercises to enhance the beauty within yourself. Make them part of your routine so that they become healthy habits in self-love.
- Write a love letter to yourself. Jot down everything you love about yourself. Research indicates that we can hear a dozen positive statements and just one negative about ourselves and we will cling to the one negative. Retrain your brain to hold more tightly to the positive.
- Exercise your heart. Give your heart one of the greatest gifts, movement. Get the blood flowing with at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. A few hours of yoga each week can help keep both the physical and emotional heart in balance so that you can live a purposeful life. Research proves that yoga boosts cardiovascular health, reduces stress, calms the nervous system and lowers blood pressure, so why not add it to your wellness routine? For a more energetic, heart-pumping experience, try a Vinyasa or Thermal style class. If you prefer a more soothing form of yoga, Yin, Nidra or Restorative are ideal. All boast benefits for the body/mind connection!
- Volunteer with heart. Seek opportunities to share your time and talent with those who are less fortunate. These simple acts of kindness will make your heart feel more joyful not to mention the smiles they will bring to others.
- Create a nightly, self-care bedtime ritual. Using a lavender essential oil, massage your feet and notice the calming affects. Or try lying against a wall with your legs extended. With your hands resting softly on your chest, close your eyes and notice your heart beating. Thank your heart for all the work it does each day to keep blood, oxygen and nutrients flowing throughout your healthy body.
- Meditation on self-love. Pause for a few minutes each day to remind yourself that you deserve love. Repeat the affirmation, “I accept and love myself just as I am.”
Make love, compassion and kindness toward self, priorities in the new year and experience how nourishment for the heart can create a more balanced sense of well-being.
Club Greenwood’s Yoga program offers more than 40 classes per week featuring a variety of styles ranging from gentle to energetic. The program also offers a unique array of special programs throughout the year to help students deepen their personal experience with yoga.
Our teacher team is knowledgeable, supportive and eager to help students enhance their understanding of the lifelong benefits of yoga. We look forward to seeing you on your yoga mat soon.
Malissa found yoga to be the intelligent choice for someone who desperately needed to strike a balance between strength and flexibility. Initially drawn to the challenging physical aspects of yoga, she became intrigued by the deeper benefits of this lifelong journey. Malissa has nearly two decades of teaching experience, holds 200-hour certifications from YogaWorks® and YogaFit®, and is a certified master trainer through Yoga Alliance®. In addition to her role as Yoga Manager, she also leads Club Greenwood’s 200-hour yoga teacher training and teaches various forms of yoga. Malissa unplugs by spending time outdoors with family and friends, gardening, trail running, hiking, biking, skiing and traveling.
Tuesdays, 9:15am-10:15pm | Hatha
Tuesdays, 7:00am-8:00pm | Yin/Meditation
Thursdays, 10:30-11:30am | Yin Yang
Wednesdays, 11:00am-12:00pm | Alignment Vinyasa II