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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

happy february! xoxo

to love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. ~ oscar wilde

welcome to a month focused on love, filled with tasty carnation hearts, chilly weather, and whispers of adoration--all topped off with loads of pink and red. i like to think of an underlying theme for february as self-love. even if you don't have a valentine, love can still be your focus this month by allowing the focus to turn inward. as a favorite julia cameron quote suggests, "there is a direct connection between self-nurturing and self-respect." ensure you're loving yourself fully this month by engaging in oodles of self-care.

as a girl who is constantly on the go, i find that taking the time to practice self-care can have profound results, especially during a dreary month like february. a few simple, yet sanity-saving tools are journal writing, getting a massage, practicing yoga, sitting still (aka meditating), having a good heart-to-heart with a trusted girlfriend, taking hot baths, steeping green tea, and doing things differently. what works for you? do you find yourself saying, "oh, if only i had time for that!" how can you carve out more time for these things? yes, of course we all know that this is important, but how can we translate this knowing into doing? THAT is the important question!

reflect on the eight main areas of your life: work, health, romance, social life, home, finances, spirituality, creativity. rate them 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high). ultimately, we're looking for balance among our various pieces. if your social life is thriving but your finances and work is flailing, it's time to regroup. if you're filled with spiritual bliss but your home and romance is a mess, things are out of balance.

yoga means union and we're seeking union within our mind, body, and spirit. i know that sounds all well and good, but you're probably wondering how to actually translate this into action. use your practice of yoga to reflect. set intentions for the eight areas of your life mentioned above. take small action steps to improve your level of happiness in each area.

creating balance within your life is the ultimate way to live your yoga practice. asana is only one of the eight limbs of yoga. the others involve meditation, living the moral codes such as non-violence and truth, and breathing consciously.

reflect on the ways that your yoga can become a practice in self-care this month. when you're on the mat, engage in compassionate self-talk. when you're in a difficult situation, focus on the healing three-part yogic breath. when you're feeling congested or a bit down, break out your back bends. may february reconnect you to a sense of wholeness and self-love coupled with lifelong romance.

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