People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them.
So with that in mind I would love to offer you a meditation practice for the heart, YOUR heart, the most important one!
By finding a comfortable seat and closing your eyes. You can be sat in a meditation posture, or simply sat comfortably on a chair.
Wherever you are make sure your feet or hips and touching the ground and your spine is tall and upright.
Spread your collarbones wide to open the chest and heart space, and softly release shoulders away from ears with no force, just nice and easy.
Your eyes and relax your face, your jaw, your eyes, your whole body.
Your breath and begin to feel your breath flowing in and out of your body.
Of the texture of your breath, the quality of your breath, the sensation of your inhalation and exhalation.
To allow the breath to become fuller in the body and slower. A long slow full breath in and out of the body, each breath filling the lungs and each exhalation releasing.
As you continue…
To breathe in this way begin to notice the chest, lungs and ribs. Notice if they feel tight and restricted, notice if they move with ease, notice if they move very little. Try not to create a story around this, just notice and observe.
To draw your attention to the space around the heart and settle your inner gaze on wherever you are drawn. It may not be where your physical heart lays and that is ok, go where you feel your connection to your heart most strongly.
Your precious breath to that space, a soft, easy slow breath straight to that space of your heart.
With each inhalation imagine that you are creating space around the heart, letting it grow, blossom and radiate.
With every exhalation allow there to be a softening from the inside out. A softening of the emotional body, the physical body, the rib cage, the chest, really allow them to contract and deflate as you breathe out.
Continue this for a few breaths.
With this for as long as you need. If you are finding this a challenge to keep a full breath, then stay with this stage and practice here a few more times. When you are ready you can move on.
Once this breath feels natural and easy, begin to feel a warmth in the heart space.
Your inhalation into that space, as if gently nurturing the warmth of the heart to grow and burn brighter and lighter. Feel that warmth start to radiate outwards, from the front and back of the body and all around.
Now as you breathe into this expansive warmth of your heart repeat to yourself
I am full of love, I have all the love I need within me
Repeat this affirmation with every inhalation, and on each exhalation just let any doubt, fear, resistance melt away.
I am full of love
I have all the love I need within me
As you continue your meditation you may notice the words start to fade, or get stronger and may start to become more spontaneous rather than only with your inhalation.
That is ok, don’t try to control it, let your intuition be your guide here
Notice the area in which you feel the ‘heart’ within you start to spread through your entire body. Through to your hands, your feet and to the crown of your head…
Feel the warmth of your heart radiate throughout…
Notice what that true love feels like and know that this is always within you.
When you are ready come back to a normal breath for a few moments, but keep the eyes closed.
Then slowly start to open the eyes
Natasha Moutran is the co-founder of The Retreat Collection, an offering of international boutique luxury yoga, fitness and wellness retreats.
For more information on upcoming retreats visit The Retreat Collection.