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Yoga Hero: All of Yoga Podcast – Episode 5

5: Self-love: The what, why & how

Self love is very subjective and very open to interpretation, and it might well feel very, very far away. 

But this episode is practical, immediately implementable to work to feel better about yourself and towards yourself. 

We look at a definition of self love which is from positivepsychology.com

“Self-love is valuing yourself as a human being who is worthy of love and respect.”

So why work towards self-love? Actually, self-love often feels selfish, like it’s just for you, you’re taking time to work on yourself for yourself… and of course that is true, but it’s not the full story. When you’re in a good place, and you might know this from experience, when you feel good about yourself, you’re easier to be around, and you also inspire others to do the same… So don’t hang about. Listen today, for you and for your loved ones!

Affirmations for self-love

I am enough

I value myself

I am worthy of respect

As always, we would love to know what you think of the Yoga Hero: All of Yoga Podcast, do leave an honest review if you can, or drop us a message @beayogahero

Listen to Self-love: The what, why and how’ where you get your podcasts:

Thank you, and happy listening!

Self-love: The what, why and how – Transcript

First of all, self love is very subjective and very open to interpretation, and I know that it might feel very, very far away. But this episode is practical, immediately implementable to work to feel better about yourself and towards yourself.

This episode is complimented by our most recent episode, ‘the thing about thoughts‘, so when you have a minute, go and have a listen to that, or another listen to that. Its so important that we’re aware of the power of the thoughts, but that we remember that they’re not real, so when you’re giving yourself a brutal time inside your own head, you can stop and think hahah i know you’re not real, and go on with your day having not been dragged round and round and down and down by repeating negative thoughts about yourself.

Ok so back to self love, and were looking at the what, why and how

The what

So what is self love?

Before I go on to say a definition of self love, let’s have a moment so that you can have a think about what self love means to you…

Ask yourself inside your head, or out loud –
What does self love mean to me?
How could it feel, or how does it feel?
What would it be like to have no negativity towards myself anymore?
What would or could it be like to experience self-love all the time? 

Ok so, lets look at a definition of self love which is from positivepsychology.com
“Self-love is valuing yourself as a human being who is worthy of love and respect.

“I’m just going to say that again, because it’s seemingly so simple:”

Self-love is valuing yourself as a human being who is worthy of love and respect.”

Let’s reflect on that for a moment. Do you value yourself as a human being? How much do you value yourself? Do you believe you’re worthy of love and respect? Now separately, think about things that you say to yourself, about yourself most often. About your abilities. Your views, appearance, talents, energy, skills, knowledge…

Right, those things that you say to yourself, do they match up with that definition?: valuing yourself as a human being who is worthy of love and respect?

I mentioned that our most recent episode – ‘the thing about thoughts’, is so relevant to this episode, self-love; the what, why and how. You know, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, and your actions when repeated become your habits, and your habits very much make up how you live your life. Whilst thoughts aren’t true… whilst they’re not real… when left unchecked, they become more and more and more hard to change. Just bear that in mind, as we move on.

The why

Why work towards self-love? Actually self-love might feel selfish, like it’s just for you, your’e taking time to work on yourself for yourself… and of course that is true, but it’s not the full story. When you’re in a good place, and you might know this from experience, when you feel good about yourself, you’re easier to be around. You’re not snappy, grumpy, pre-occupied, you’re not negative. You also inspire others to do the same.

As we know, yoga is so much more than just the physical practice, it really about learning to life a life that’s less fraught, less stressful, more meaningful, with stillness and peace. Working towards self-love is finding peace with aspects of yourself that you’ve fought against in the past.

So why would you work towards self-love? Because it will help you live a life that’s more peaceful.

The how

This is the big one hey. And of course, if taking a long bath with a big glass of wine is your path to self-love, well that sounds divine go and do it immediately. But really, self-love is entirely practical, maybe even verging on mundane things that are smaller to do, and to do more often than a weekly bath or massage even though those things are completely wonderful and you should do them if you enjoy them. Here’s some practical things we can take from yoga philosophy, to work towards self love

  1. Pratipaksha bhavana – Think the opposite

There’s a very well used yoga scripture called the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. A sutra is a thread, a statement of wisdom that we can integrate in our life to experience less stress. Chapter 2, sutra 33 is pratipaksha bhavana. I’m summarising here, but in essence, when you find yourself thinking something negative, pause, and make an effort to think the opposite.

Now this doesn’t have to be the exact opposite; we’re re-wiring the brain, In our last episode we talked about the negative bias, which useful when you’re driving or walking, but we don’t want to be negative all the time. We want to stop that thought pattern in its tracks, before it gets ingrained any deeper, and to do that, we think the opposite. So ‘oh my goodness, why did i decide to wear this t-shirt today, it’s too wild, I can’t carry it off. Stop, pause, breathe. Think the opposite; I love this t-shirt and i’m enjoying wearing it. Or I’m proud of myself for trying something different today’, or anything positive, or anything infused by love. Maybe you simply think of a loved one, or you sing a line from a happy song, anything to stop the narrative in it’s tracks, to stop the thought going round and round.

  1. Rest

Lack of rest is extensive at the moment. More and more of us are getting less and less rest. I don’t necessarily mean sleep, I mean rest. Resting the mind, reducing input into the five senses, resting the body. Do you ever take even one minute a day to do nothing? With no TC, radio, phone, reading… to do just nothing? This isn’t perfect for everyone, but if it will benefit you, even, honestly one minute a day will make a difference. Just put your phone down, sit comfortably, and breathe as deeply as you comfortably can.

  1. Acceptance and surrender

there are some things, many things, that are out of our control. If you fight to control them, it will lead to barriers, to anxieties, to frustration. Acceptance and surrendering to the fact that you can only control what you can control, in respect to your achievements – let’s say, means we’re not always, constantly working, striving, burning out to succeed more, and being mad at yourself for not achieving all of the things. This is by no means say rest on your laurels, that a new job, or a new friendship, or a new wonderful daily habit will just fall out of the sky, but it’s saying that you can only do what you can do, then you have to surrender and see what happens.

  1. Affirmations

From experience, affirmations aren’t for everyone, but it’s a no-brainer to include them here. You could use your affirmation for when you find yourself deep in negative self-talk ‘why did you put yourself forward for this presentation, you don’t know anywhere near enough, stupid, you’re going to forget everything you know and embarrass yourse….’ Start your affirmation, repeat it out loud or in your head until you’ve forgotten the negative self talk.


Ok, so all in all, it’s about awareness first; knowing how you speak to yourself and resolving to change that. And if and when it’s negative and you notice that, pause and just do your best to think the opposite. It takes time, effort and awareness and there’ll be times where you’ve gone days and days and days before you remember! That’s ok. Every bit you can do towards stopping the pattern getting more ingrained is so valuable.

And lastly, self-love isn’t another thing to beat yourself up about. it’s not lying in bed at night thinking well, today I didn’t get the clothes put way, I didn’t get through all my emails to respond to and i didn’t do my self-love practice useless. You just do what you can when you can and don’t give yourself a hard time about the rest.

Sending you so much love you wonderful heroes. We’re here if you have questions, comments, feedback, suggestions of things that have helped you.

Go and have a fabulous day, remember, you’re your own hero.

Namaste