How Yoga Can Open Up Your Heart Again

Hi there, are you ready to celebrate Valentines Day with self-love and compassion, show some pizazz toward your partner or are you hiding under the covers waiting for it to just pass by? No judgement here, I’ve done all the above. I’m wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day none the less and requiring you to give yourself some mad love, you are so deserving of today.

If I may share some of my story with you… I hope it will inspire anyone in their quest to find that one person you connect with, fall deeply in love and create a life together. Sometimes the timeline of expectations and not being in-touch with our true selves can be hindering the flow of LOVE more than we realize. It’s difficult to see when we’re not mindfully connected to ourselves and trusting that we are in partnership with something bigger than just our physical being. I’ve so been there, and let me tell you, loathing in what I didn’t have and judging the love I felt I couldn’t receive wasn’t doing anything positive for me. We are all LOVE. Everything that lights our soul up is LOVE. Let that reminder be the thing that propel’s courage and action as you dive deep to look with-in.

Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us
— Marianne Williamson

Breakups are never easy. We all have a story of heartache at some point in our lives. Mine came after spending several years in my mid twenties to early thirties with a great man whom I thought for sure was the one I would share my life with— until he wasn’t. I am not exaggerating when I say buckets of tears were starting to over flow and questioning everything about that relationship began to consume me. I beat myself up internally and was convinced I was unworthy of being truly loved by him instead of accepting that perhaps we weren’t meant for each other. My calling for yoga came during that time. I thank God everyday for the girlfriend that drug me to a studio in Santa Monica and said “trust me you will love this class.” As that relationship was coming to it’s end, my commitment to being on my mat began.

Yoga is the union of the mind, body and spirit. This ability to connect to a deeper sense of self arrives as you drop into your breath, begin to link it with movements and quiet the mind. The hope is that the discoveries you find as you explore the eight limbs of yoga will cultivate a joyful, non judgmental awareness in which you can use as a vehicle for transformation. This connection isn't only enriching for the self but in all your relationships if you want it to be. It's a journey inward that guides you to connect with the present moment with compassion and acceptance. As I started to sense these very things shifting my perspective, the layers of pain we’re revealing themselves too. I had some weepy classes and on the other side of that came a connection to joy like I’d never felt before. I wanted more of that. One to two times a week became three to five times a week. I remember going to one class in particular on a Friday night at 8PM where I thought I may be a loan wolf… the class was packed, mat to mat with at least fifty people. The energy of sharing space stuck with me that night. I wrote that up to be one of the best dates ever with a ton of like minded humans and myself— a renewed self, I was growing quite fond of.

Inspirational Addict, Sonoma Mama, Andrea Bogart Yoga, Inspiring Blogger, Health & Wellness, Everyday Joys, Mindfulness, Yoga Instructor, Actress, Happy Wife

There is loads of research that supports yoga reducing stress and anxiety in conjunction with elevating your mood and over-all sense of well-being. When we stretch the body, create a fluidity with our breath and movements we release stored toxins and relax the mind quite beautifully. Stress wears differently on all of us so my suggestion is to simply see for yourself. As you begin to practice consistently you will start to see the benefits show up in your daily life. A heaviness you may have often felt before becomes lighter. As relaxation is practiced, a calm nervous system encourages more balance in dealing with life's disappointments as you navigate toward happiness and healing more readily. The well-rounded effects my yoga practice was bringing to my life shifted everything into new light. My heart was healing and my unbounded belief in abundance was ignited in a multitude of ways. My lifestyle choices improved across the board and the love and energy I was putting out into the world was more conscious and coming back to me. The time on my mat was magical. That powerful connection to something bigger than just my physical being was a spiritual awakening.

Pranayama (control of breath) is the driving force of any style of yoga. Practicing this controlled breath connects us to our bodies and the present moment. Meditation (Dyhana) is one of the wonderful eight limbs of yoga I referred to earlier that quiets the mind and has been found to help reduce anxiety. Connecting to these vital elements increases your ability to relax, restore and revive. Day to day activities often leave us restless with mind-chatter and a yearning for a way minimize that. Understanding your mind, body, spirit connection will invite more stability into your life. With a constant need and/ or expectations to respond to things today, we have to learn how to shut things off. This is one perk of the practice that can be detrimental to communicating positively and effectively. Savasana (corpse pose) can be an out-of-body, serene experience... make sure you never miss out on that. It was one of the most difficult asnas (postures) for me early in my practice. It didn’t take long for me to understand why laying there completely surrendering and allowing myself to receive would become the most important part of the practice.

Change due to an event or circumstance is inevitable, it’s called life right? Change initiated by you may be more challenging as you're not being nudged into something by circumstance but rather self-motivating in a courageous way. We often wait to make a change until a circumstance has forced us into taking a look at something more closely. I think it's fair to say, either situation will get you to the same place when you get clear with what you want your results to look like. My LOVE for being on my mat inspired me to get certified and begin teaching in 2012. I’ve never looked back and dream of getting mindful practices into schools, homes and the hearts of everyone. It’s a decade later and I’m in my first year of marriage to an unbelievable man I was lucky enough to create another life with; our year and a half old daughter. I know for sure my yoga journey has decluttered all the insecurities, fears and negativity I once felt burdened by. My life is not perfect but I believe in this healing practice and I will be a student to it’s lessons for the rest of my time here.

Inspirational Addict, Sonoma Mama, Andrea Bogart Yoga, Inspiring Blogger, Health & Wellness, Everyday Joys, Mindfulness, Yoga Instructor, Actress, Happy Wife

I wish you all love. Have a happy Valentine’s Day. Celebrate LOVE today. Share it, receive it and trust that the source of all love is already with-in each and everyone of us. Live your love. Thank you for stopping by, your comments are always welcome here.

XOXO ANDREA


Fill Today With LOVE... HAPPY VALENTINES DAY

Happy Valentines Day Everyone! 

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I know this is one of those commercial holidays that depending on how you look at it, may not be your favorite day... I've been there and can pretty much guarantee, we've all been there at one time or another, am I right? Let's see if we can shift our perspective and let go of that feeling.

Today doesn't have to be about celebrating the LOVE you're either In or Not In with someone else but it can be simply about celebrating LOVE.  You can make it a day that feels amazing no matter what your relationship status is.  And ladies I say, if you're waiting on a guy to overly woo you, I would maybe focus on wooing him... for the joy of doing it and not worry about what you get in return. Try it on for size if you never have... see how that feels? 

TIPS ON WOOING HIM

  • Make the dinner reservation at his favorite spot
  • Call for the uber
  • Cook dinner for him
  • Create something personal for him; photo book, memory video
  • Leave a handwritten card; in his lap top, under pillow, on his car seat

TIPS ON WOOING YOU

  • Take your favorite fitness class today
  • Schedule a self love day; mani/pedi, massage, facial
  • Meditate; visualize the love you want to have in your life
  • Plan a dinner with friends
  • Have a cozy PJ night and watch a funny movie
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As I save the best for last... indulge in a sensual desert for the love of LOVE! My personal favorite are dark chocolate or yogurt covered strawberries. They are really fun to make too should you want to give that a go...

Click here  for a recipe from the Food Network I love. I used the stove top versus microwave and organic strawberries. Mine didn't turn out quite this pretty but I am sure equally delicious!

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Have a loving day no matter what! Tell the people in your life your love them, share your joy with people around you. If you have any fun tips you want to add to the mix, leave them in the comments, I love hearing from you guys. All you need is LOVE.

XO ANDREA