Real Yogis, Real Stories
September 24, 2015

A Practice Towards Self-Love by Chris Benedicto

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Today, I acknowledge this truth: I continue to struggle to find my path as a yoga practitioner.

For someone who tries to make it look like I’ve been keeping it together, it’s no secret that I lost the practice down the line and I’m having a difficult time coming back to it.

Though there are positive things happening in my life, I still find myself focusing on some letdowns and disappointments, mostly because of the standards set by me. Just when I thought that I had resolved issues with myself through the practice of ahimsa(nonviolence), those same issues resurfaced. I thought that I’d learned how to respond to these issues already by deciding against hating myself but no.

Yes, sometimes I struggle with anger management issues, and this struggle has been a very self-destructive experience. Things got better as the practice of yoga broke some of my walls, but after getting lost in the bliss of asana practice, I decided to stop until I needed it again and just focus on practicing yoga in other aspects in my life. Honestly, I think this practice has been inadequate, because my aggressive tendencies with myself are resurfacing, as well as not being able to communicate well with other people.

I know I’ve stopped loving myself – doing things simply to nurture my soul. Yoga teaches me to respect the light in others, but I’ve forgotten to respect the light in me, especially when things go wrong. My temperament automatically leads me to blame myself for things not necessarily my doing. I deserve to be loved; yet I continuously reject to be loved by myself.

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This leads me to want to focus on a yoga practice towards self-love. Not the typical, do-good-things-for-my-body-for-good-karma mindset. I want to experience a daily mindful practice of simply acknowledging the good in myself, and in effect being able to have others do the same to themselves too. Instead of trying to step out of this familiar, dark place, I’d rather try illuminating the room, taking the cobwebs out and wiping the dust off.

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Self-love might be what we all need, instead of projecting our insecurities to others or even punishing ourselves for anything beyond our control. Today, self-love for me comes in the form of acknowledging that I’m not in the best of places. From here, this is the part where I pick the pieces up and move forward towards gentleness with myself. Coming out with the issues I face with myself already makes me feel vulnerable, but I only do this in my best interest to be a positive light to myself, and maybe even to others who might need it.

 

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Chris Benedicto is a Studio Assistant Manager for Urban Ashram Yoga,a recreational runner, and a freelance yoga teacher.



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