With Valentine’s Day coming up many of us may be struggling to feel the love and keep up with the good intentions we set up at the beginning of the year. Kirsty Gallagher one of the UK’s top teachers shares with us some of her favourite yoga poses, affirmations , breathing techniques and tips on how to help you listen to your hearts calling, invite more love into your life and stay in love with your yoga practice no matter what.
– Know that you will go through phases. As with every relationship in life there will be ups and downs, highs and lows. Yes you will fall out of your good habits, but then you will fall back in love with them like never before so don’t judge these phases, just go with the flow and allow the journey to unfold. Just never, ever give up.
– Ustrasana (Camel pose) is one of the best poses to help you open your heart helping you to be at peace and opening and shining your heart out into the world. Start by kneeling on the floor with your legs hip width apart. Press your shins and the tops of your feet down into the earth. Place your hands on the back of your hips. Inhale and slowly begin to lift your heart up from the breastbone and allow your hips to move forward. Draw your shoulder blades down the back as you begin to slowly move as far back as is comfortable. Only when you have practiced this half camel version and are comfortable with it can you then reach the hands down towards your heels. Lift from the breastbone allowing the head to head to drop gently backwards.
– Keep working on something that seems “impossible”. I am the first to say that yoga is not all about asana and fancy poses but it often helps to keep working towards something to keep your practice fresh and exciting. Over time with patience and dedication yoga has a magical way of making the “impossible” become possible. Just be warned that once you “achieve” one pose ten more appear that all want to be the next!
– Full yogic breathing will help you to feel whole and complete. Focus on your heart as you breath and feel your entire being filled with warmth and love. Lie or sit somewhere comfortably. Begin by focussing on full deep breaths into the belly then start to move the breath up into the front, side and back ribs and finally all the way up into the collar bone until you are breathing into the full body.
– An affirmation is a word or phrase repeated over and over again, allowing it’s meaning to seep into your subconscious and shift negative habits and patterns into positive ones. One of my favourites is ‘My heart is open to giving and receiving love. I lovingly accept myself as I am. I give and receive love with an open heart. I open my heart fully to living. I am worthy of love.’
For more info on Kirsty’s retreats, classes and tips on yoga and meditation visit www.kirstygallagher.com.