As the weather warms up and social events abound, being out and about can take a toll on your mental and emotional energy. Bumping into old friends, making new ones, and having to be on and sociable can start to get draining pretty quickly. Especially when you’ve got just as much on your plate with lots of weddings, beach parties, and brunches to attend, it’s important to figure out how to preserve your energy and keep a balance.
When we’re out and about interacting with others and meeting new people, it’s easy to absorb energy because we’re constantly hearing new information, and, whether we’re conscious of it, are creating out own judgments of what people are saying and doing. When we judge people, we become susceptible to their energy and what would otherwise be fun and enjoyable events end up being more exhausting that rejuvenating.
The key to releasing judgment comes first from noticing and releasing judgment of ourselves, and then consciously listening to others without creating our own stories about them. This allows us to hear and see them without being vulnerable to the energy of others from whatever they have going on in their own lives.
Your yoga practice can be very supportive and nourishing when it comes to your social interactions, because it helps you to stay emotional and mentally strong while being kind and gracious during these times. It can help deepen your relationships with others, and cultivates a gentleness and self-love within that overflows into your everyday interactions with others.
Here are three exercises that you can use to consciously activate your own self-love, and to welcome loving interactions into your own life.
1. Crescent flow
This flow is great for many reasons. It’s a balance challenge, actively taps into your core, and requires you to have a strong and open heart.
Make sure that both hips are pointed forward and that your tailbone is tucked under, keep the front knee bent at a ninety-degree angle, and ground down through your uddiyana bandha. Reach up strongly with pinkies pointing inward and towards one another, gently arching your back at the top, and dive down on your exhale allowing arms to circle under and backwards, pointing behind you. Pause, and as you breathe deeply back inwards, reach back up to arms overhead.
To aid in balance, draw your inner thighs towards one another and feel a wrapping inward of them in order to ground down and stabilize while you flow. Do this five times to create a flow and to get actively into the pose.
An active crescent is introspective and heart opening, and allows for you to cultivate deep inner strength, while opening your heart to possibilities and miracles that abound.
2. Warrior two with bind
Standing strongly in your warrior and pushing through the outer edge of your back left foot, while sinking deeply into your front knee, reach up through the crown of your head and gaze gently over your front fingertips. Reach back with both arms and interlace fingers to open your heart Turn chest towards the ceiling, let shoulders fall away from ears and root downwards through the inner thighs. Hold this pose for five to ten deep breaths. It helps to allow you to find strength in stillness and enables you to breathe through your situation, even when pain and discomfort may be encouraging you to back out.
This pose is deep and challenging for so many reasons. It opens your throat chakra while you have an open heart to encourage you to speak your truth and to be comfortable in a vulnerable position. Sitting on your knees, reach back to touch ankles with your fingertips, when you feel strong through your core and abdominals, tilt your head back for the full expression of this pose. This pose is extremely opening, while softening your heart and enabling you to build courage and strength.
Yoga is an incredible tool in enlivening other parts of your life. As your practice deepens, so will your relationships and daily interactions. Be conscious and mindful, and use the variety of Udaya classes to round out your practice and improve your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Photo by Joshua Earle