Theme of the Month- Prema
Prema is pure, unselfish, divine love. Love without conditions, love for the sake of love. It is the love we have for God, the universe, the divine. Prema is also the love I have for my children. It is the love my dogs have for me and I have for my dogs (yep, even when they’re chewing up my door frames and crapping in my gym bag…) It is the kind of love we should all have for ourselves, although I’m very much still working on this one.
Having grown up in a world where it was seriously uncool to love yourself, this kind of unconditional self-love is not something that comes naturally to me. As a child of the 90’s, I learned that the best way to fit in was to make derogatory comments about my appearance. After a few years of trying my best to fit in at an all girls’ school, I had a group of surface-level friends and a pretty poor opinion of myself. This theme continued throughout my twenties. It was so bad that I even refused to have a wedding photographer. I will regret this decision for the rest of my life.
But through almost 10 years of regular yoga practice, I feel like I am finally starting to dip my toe into the rockpool of self-love. The more I practice, the more I am able to quiet those negative thoughts about myself. Yoga citta vrtti nirodha- yoga is the stilling of the mind chatter. In those moments that my mind is silent, I am able to fully appreciate and love who I really am. I am so much more than my thoughts, my negative self-talk and the shape of my body.
My yoga practice has also taught me that I can do so much more than I ever thought possible. I can stand on my head, stick arm balances, chant, I can even hold space for a class of 24 yoga students. The deeper I delve into this practice, the more I realise that I am actually pretty badass. (What would those girls from school say if they read this?!)
Yoga teaches us that the divine is within us all. We are all perfect exactly as we are, we just need to realise it. And once we do realise it, well, how can we feel anything other than Prema for our glorious selves? I’m not quite there yet, but I’m getting there. Hopefully one day I will feel that Prema for myself in the same way that I feel it for my children.
Because I do love them unconditionally and selflessly, which is why I stood in the sea this afternoon for a whole hour, up to my nipples in 11°C water, frozen to my very core, smiling and throwing a ball for my child (who, by the way, apparently does not feel the cold or ever get bored).
The things we do for Prema…
So as we focus on Prema in the studio this month, let’s all try to appreciate just how amazing we are, because we are ALL divine.
See you on the mat.
Love, Emma x