Self-love, the Saint-Graal of our modern society. Everyday, we get hammered by advertising messages asking us to take care of ourselves, to follow our dreams, to take that holiday, or leave that job. They ask us to do it, but it is always through the acquisition of a thing.
I say that it all starts with self-love. Loving the person we are, as we are, is the basis of a healthy and balanced life. How can you pursue your dreams, love others, build a life you absolutely love, if you don’t love the person you will be doing this with: yourself?
The yoga practice is a beautiful way to cultivate self-love, through small actions. It is you reminding yourself to breathe during that challenging pose. It is knowing when to stop before you hurt. It is allowing your body to feel the way it feels, every day. It is accepting that one day you are flying in Bakasana (Crow pose) and the following day, you are collapsing in that same pose.
In addition to the practice on the mat, I have created a ritual to include self-love in my daily life. As for meditation, and yoga, think of self-love as a muscle that needs to be constantly trained. It is a life practice.
I developed this routine when in Bali, where I spent 2 months to reconnect to myself, and work on personal development, including self-love.
Reconnection to your feminine side
For me, it all started with reconnecting to my femininity.
As a Yogipreneur, Vinyasa teacher and writer, hustling is part of my daily life. I have to go for my dreams, otherwise no one will serve them to me on a silver platter.
Being in Bali, which is such a smooth and sensual land, I realised I had let my masculine side take over my overall energy. Everything I did in the sphere of work was moved from a place of power, strength, pushing and pushing. My perception of power and the way I conceived it was to be like men.
Bali, and an extensive practice of Kundalini Yoga, showed me otherwise. Being a woman and denying my femininity caused an imbalance in my capacity to love myself for what I was.
The more I reconnected with my feminine side, through practices like dancing, drawing, singing, the more I felt comfortable with myself. I felt good with my body, and I started to let it express itself authentically – wearing no bra was the best discovery!
Practices that cultivate creativity, whatever the medium, are excellent ways to reconnect with our feminine side. Kundalini, through its kriyas, is also an amazing practice to tap into our inner force, which is feminine – the snake coiled at the base of our spine is a she!
We are all Goddesses
The kundalini practice, as well as long discussions with inspiring women, led me to the conclusion that shifted the paradigm I previously lived with: every woman is a Goddess.
We are all Goddesses, both Shakti and Kali, we are powerful and without us, the World would technically be nothing. Yes, this is being feminist. No, this does not mean we, women, are here to despise men.
Being a Goddess means that we know our value, we know that we are beautiful divine creatures. We know that there is enough power in us to take care of our faith and be the heroes of our lives.
Following this principle, I decided to meet my inner Goddess. It started with sporadic acts like smiling to myself in the mirror, and looking at my body from a place of love instead of the good old judgement we tend to have. I wore clothes that made me feel flowy and sensual.
I then decided to formalise it into a morning ritual.
“Good morning Goddess”
Each morning, I wake-up to my Goddess ritual.
I open my eyes, I put some music on. No checking messages, yet! As soon as the music is on, I start touching the skin of my entire body, starting with my legs. It is, for me, a way to greet myself into a new day, and acknowledge the beauty of this divine body of mine. I touch my feet, my legs, my tummy, my chest, my shoulders, my arms, I let my hands softly greet my entire body. I finish with my face, my hair.
Then, I step into my bathroom, and when I look into the mirror, I greet the Goddess by a “Good morning, Goddess” and a smile.
This might seem simple, so simple. And it truly is. But it has changed so much in my relationship to myself.
They say, the way you start your day defines the rest of it.
Starting the day with the positive feeling of greeting your inner Goddess, that is some powerful start.
And, yes, in the beginning, it will probably seem weird, and you will probably have to fake it. The first days, I found it so difficult to linger in bed, touching my skin. And, how hard was it to look at myself in the mirror without my gaze going straight to my muffin top and judgemental thoughts arising! But it came, slowly and steadily, as it does with any practice.
Today, I cannot start a day without my self-love morning routine. I feel amazing after doing it. And the best thing is that it starts to span over my day – I notice that the way I look at myself in the mirror during the day is starting to be filled with the same benevolence and self-love it has in the morning.
That, for me, is the most beautiful gift to myself. With this, I feel empowered to face life and realise my visions and dreams. Because I know I am at peace with my co-pilot: myself.
About The Author
Oumnia El Khazzani is a Yoga teacher and a writer. When she is not teaching flowy vinyasa classes, she writes novels, as well as blog posts, for herself or for others as a freelancer.