If we want to be able to love externally, we would access more of our full potential by learning ways to love ourselves first.
In our lives, the internal and the external often reflect one another. Sometimes we need to address the external to get to the internal and other times it’s best to go through the internal to get to the external.
Mind and body are connected as our human nature proves again and again. Without will power and mental curiosity, we cannot find our personal edges. Without finding our edges, we cannot grow past them to new heights.
So, how can we open from the inside out?
Let’s start with an area of the body that all yogis love to hate or hate to love.
Begin in a simple standing position. Align yourself as you would in a Tadasana also known as Mountain Pose. Press the corners of your feet into the floor as if you’re rooting yourself to the ground. Travel your awareness up your body, contract the calves without locking out or hyperextending the knees.
Now we get to the juicy part—the hips and pelvis.
Engage the inner thighs by rotating them inward and back behind you. You will be able to feel the internal pressure and strength happening in your hip sockets. This also helps align our pelvis into its optimal position.
By following these steps, you get to strengthen and open at the same time. Doesn’t everyone want more bang for their buck?
Continue moving your attention up the body. Pull your belly button towards your spine to strengthen your deep core muscles (transverse abdominis), pull your shoulders down along the spine. Keep a neutral chin without craning your head forward and reach the top of your head towards the sky. Now, go back and remind yourself from toes to head of your alignment.
It can be easy to lose sight of all of those adjustments if you’re not used to them.
This type of opening and strengthening is also accessible in other areas. If you wish to do something similar for opening and strengthening your shoulders, bring your hands above your head and cross your wrists, then press your palms together, bending your elbows at the same time. Voila! Feel the pressure inside in the shoulder area.
Knowing myself as a yoga instructor/enthusiast, I turn most physical aspects and other external situations into a metaphor for introspective learning.
If we are able to open our hips and shoulders (two powerful joint areas), then we must be able to open the rest of us from the inside out. Each chakra has its own spectrum of energy and each could be opened from the inside.
Take the heart as an example—if we want to be able to love externally, we would access more of our full potential by learning ways to love ourselves first.
Know yourself. Explore yourself. Be who you are with depth of connection and wisdom.
“We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Eliot
Kristie is a young human being (not human doing) who lives a life of enthusiasm and is always involved in self-learning initiatives. Her lifestyle is full of exploration intrinsically and extrinsically, allowing her to teach a continuous practice of persistence, patience and vigilance. With a degree in education and a 200-hr Kripalu Yoga Teacher Certification, she is a practitioner of non-judgemental and compassionate self-awareness. Shine shamelessly.
Assistant Ed: Stephanie V.
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