I took a long hiatus from yoga earlier this year because I was bogged down with work and the ongoings of life. When I finally decided to step it up again and head down to the studio, it was one of the best things I ever did for myself.

For the opening address of the class, the teacher shared a simple idea which resounded deep in me. He said:

Every once in awhile, it is okay to be selfish to our personal needs and wants. Without this self love, how would we expect to know how to love others?

During the session, the teacher guided us through plenty of hip openers and prana exercises. Having kept the opening in mind and breathing through the restorative poses, I came to a realization – The teacher was right.

For the past few months prior to that yoga class, I was constantly acting on other peoples’ wants and needs. I was involved in various non-profit organizations; working at three separate jobs; in a relationship; caught up with the clutter of daily life. It when then did I realized that my ‘alone-time’ was scarce and I wasn’t feeling happy nor satisfied about my personal life and someplace deep down in me craved for this ‘alone-time’. Those words from the teacher taught me that it is okay to practice self-love and be selfish occasionally. The notion of being selfish serves as a reminder to us about our very existence on this planet. To be able to stay in tuned with our body, our needs and wants, and to listen to our heart and act from within.

At the end of the practice, I remember being close to tears because of the sudden realization of this simple idea. I made a promise to myself to allocate time for myself daily, regardless if its for yoga, meditation or being in the kitchen. It didn’t take long for me to experience the benefits of acting on this simple idea. I was happier and definitely ready to spread my joy to others.

That was probably the best welcome back into practice for me.

Featured photo credits: Giacomo Nodari