You Are Beautiful: 3 Ways to Release Self-Judgment
What if you woke up one morning and decided to stop judging yourself? Rather than looking in the mirror and thinking ” a face only a mother could love,” you might say ‘hi beautiful.” When you dress for the day, you might pick clothes that make you feel like a superstar instead of clothes that hide your body. You might choose to melt some sinfully delicious dark chocolate into your oatmeal and add a pinch of cinnamon rather than stuffing down the same old boring ‘weight loss’ breakfast. Maybe you will smile at other drivers on the way to work, rather than swearing or sharing a few choice non-yogic mudras. (Yoga mudras are hand positions that allow the flow of energy to travel in specific ways around the body, such as in the prayer or Anjali mudra with palms together at your heart center).
What if you moved your yoga mat to the front of the class rather than hiding in the back corner unseen? Perhaps you could compliment yourself on your ability to hold Warrior III a little longer than normal today, rather than comparing your balancing skills to other yogis in class. Maybe you could even say “thank you” to yourself for attending yoga today while enjoying a few blissful moments in savasana or corpse pose.
The things that we say to ourselves, and the ways in which we treat ourselves, are of utmost importance. We hear and believe our own thoughts and act upon them. When we judge ourselves, we are giving others permission to do the same. When we treat ourselves with love, it is only natural that we will treat others with love, too. And magically, according to the Law of Attraction, others will respond and treat us with love in return.
Below, find a short list of ways that may help you to release self-judgment, and love yourself more.
1. Surround Yourself in a Blanket of Love. This may sound a little bizarre, but love really does come from within. Sit or lie quietly, relaxing or meditating, and allow your mind and heart to imagine that you are totally engulfed in a soft, cozy, warm blanket. The blanket fills you with love and at the same time, allows all things that are not love within or around you to be released with ease.
2. Wear a Blue Topaz Crystal. You might decide to wear a ring or a necklace with a pendant, or carry the gemstone around in your pocket during the day. Blue topaz is the color of the throat chakra, the area that allows us to communicate our truth to the world. Begin by communicating positive and loving truth to you.
3. Catch and Correct Yourself. When you hear yourself judging yourself or others, or thinking negative thoughts, catch yourself and turn the statements around. Think to yourself: I am beautiful. I am loved. I am confident. I am.
How to Use the Yoga Sutras to Tame Your Anxiety
The Yoga Sutras Were Perfected, Passed Down, and Finally Written
The Yoga Sutras is the first official yoga textbook that offers the complete sequential system of yoga (also known as Samkhya) as prescribed by the Sage Patanjali himself more than 2,000 years ago. To understand the lineage, keep in mind that this system had been passed down orally from student to teacher for 3,000 years prior to the penning down of The Yoga Sutras. By the time yoga reached the Sage Patanjali, generations of devout practitioners dedicated their lives to the study of yoga, which would later be enumerated in the yoga sutras. Why were they so committed to this practice?
Back in the Day, There Was No “Medicine”
Yoga was first created and propagated at a time when psychotherapy and Western medicine did not exist. Yet anxiety and suffering did. Humans have always been anxious because that is how our brains developed evolutionarily in response to predation and threat. That is why humans have a negativity bias. We remember all that went wrong and focus on all that can go wrong in order to survive. But we are no longer just surviving.
Anxiety is a crucial component to our ability to remain alive in order to be able to procreate, protect and raise young, and ultimately keep offspring alive until their sexual maturity. Imagine what the outcome would have been if people just relaxed in the face of danger? That response would have opened people up to predation and death. Without anxiety, the nervous system would fail to become aroused. In turn, stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline would not be released and humans would not have been able to run and escape danger. They would have been hunted to extinction.