5 Poses to Inspire More Self-Love, Less Self Smack-Talk

It’s all too easy to put ourselves down. Here’s how to use your practice to stop, once and for all.
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Ever find yourself caught in a negative story line about yourself? Wish you could show yourself the kind of love and compassion you show others? This yoga for self-love sequence can help.

The longest and most intimate relationship you will ever have is the one you have with your self. And yet, if you’re like most, it can feel downright impossible to fully and truly love and accept your body.

Have you ever spoken unkind words about your weight? Deflected a compliment, only to follow it up with a self-appointed jab? Have you ever been angry with your appearance, or cursed that extra inch you’re able to pinch around your middle? It’s OK, dear one. We all have, we all do. But, hear me when I say this: You don’t have to do that anymore.

This year, you can—you will—love your body.

I propose we collectively make a shift: What if this year, we start the New Year not from a place of lack or fear, but from a place of acceptance and love? What if instead of trying to reach some number on a scale, we seek to feel comfortable in our skin? What if instead of trying to look a certain way, we set the intention to live a certain way. What if this year, instead of “New Year, New Me,” our mantra is, “New Year, Same Amazing, Unique, Exceptionally Beautiful Me?”

See also Baptiste Yoga: 10 Poses to Help You Love Your Body

To start the process, we must first shift the current lens through which we see ourselves from one of criticism to one of love. You know the saying, “Do unto others as you would do to yourself?” Instead, I propose we think about it this way: “Do unto yourself as you would do to others.” Let this be the motivation behind how we see our bodies, and let’s start treating ourselves as if we are our own children, lovers, and best friends.

I have slapped myself in the face before out of frustration with my body. I would never do that to a child. I have yelled “I hate you” into the mirror even though I wouldn’t dare say that to someone I love. I have risked my life for the sake of five more pounds. I would never put a friend in that kind of danger. What if we loved ourselves as much as we love those we care about most? Or, here’s a radical thought: What if we loved ourselves more?

As yogis we have the ultimate tool box to make these shifts happen. We have tools to help us ground in the present, get clear on reality, and help us shift from negative self-talk to body-positive thinking. We have tools to help us access a place inside that is strong, expansive, and already perfect.

See also This One Simple Practice Will Change How You Feel About Yourself

These 5 powerful poses will help you love your body this year—and beyond.

About the Author

Sarah Ezrin is a yoga teacher in San Francisco. Learn more at sarahezrinyoga.com