Love yourself by Sue van Raes


My yogic path to healing

Hello Beautifuls! I’m Sue VanRaes and this is what I do: I teach women how to deepen the relationship they have with themselves, their health and the way they move through life. Being a yogini, I focus my work around the yogic path, concentrating on food and health, and leading to deeper levels of self-love. Digging deep into my own well of experience and knowledge, I find myself working with my own path to inform my practice. This brings me to look at my own habituated patterns, such as self-judgement, which takes me out of self-love.

The yogic principle of Ahimsa; The first step on the yogic path

Classical yoga contains eight limbs or arms, the first of which is called the yamas. These five ethical precepts, explained in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, give us basic guidelines for living a life of personal fulfillment that will also benefit society. The first yama is the most famous one:ahimsa, simply translated as “nonviolence.” This precept refers not only to physical violence, but also to the violence of words or thoughts. What we think about ourselves or others is as powerful as any physical harm. And the practice of each precept begins at home, with the self.

Simple but not easy

Looking at my own patterns of violence towards myself, however mild they may be, leads me to question, “If we are harming ourselves via our thoughts and actions, how can we create love, compassion and healing in the world?” We must practice ahimsa. This theme is repeated in the pledge of practitioners of natural medicine, “first, do no harm.” If we think about this concept our first thought is, “Of course, do no harm.” It sounds simple, and it is, but it is not easy. We are very weak in this practice – we judge ourselves harshly, we are our own worst critics, we punish ourselves, we even bully ourselves.

Our own worst enemy

So, it’s not hard to imagine the truth of such sayings as “you are your own worst enemy” and “the only thing that stands in your way is you”. These sayings hold a lot of power. In just recognizing their truth we begin to change them. If we can journey into our hearts and find even a shred of compassion for ourselves we are beginning to get out of our own way, and our standing as arch-enemy starts to slip. There is great freedom in this simple act of kindness toward ourselves.

Reconnecting to our hearts

When we reconnect to our hearts–our own endless well of love that is the strongest healing power known to humankind–our health aligns automatically at a deep core level. We awaken into each moment and encounter each challenge through the heart. Our daily choices are for our highest good when we move from this place.

The beautiful possibility

It is said that if we truly lived in a manner that was all embracing, all accepting and recognizing of our own inherent value, our energy would be abundant, our enthusiasm for life would be boundless and our abilities to manifest would be infinite. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine it for yourself? First, practice ahimsa. But before beginning take a deep breath and exhale. The first part of the word is ah. . .

Jen MurphyComment