Oh baby, you should go and love yourself.

Yogic Principle: Self-Study

First of all, I promise not to reference Justin Bieber ever again.

Secondly, who are you?

But seriously. WHO ARE YOU?!

Take a minute to think about it. If I came up to you and asked “Who is Alexa?” or “Who is JJ,” how would you answer? (Insert your name in place of theirs).

Most of us would respond with something like “I’m an architect who lives in Indy.” Or “I’m a student and a new wife.” But your job, your home, your role within your family, etc. do not define you. Your belief system and your experiences do.

Practicing self-study increases your awareness and helps you learn to love and accept yourself. The rewards are endless—happiness, satisfaction, and reciprocity of love and affection. Here’s some tips:

1. Notice how you treat others. Notice what others do that upsets you. Is the problem with them? Or could it be with you? In psychology, projection is the idea that you see in others what is actually within you. For example, pretend Natalie (who is a sweetheart) is very boastful after work-outs. She takes her shirt off to show us her muscles, tells everyone how hard the WOD is, & tells everyone how she’s going to the Games next year. Then one day she works out with Betsy and Betsy destroys her in double unders (cuz she’s freaky fast #JimmyJohnstatus), so Natalie starts telling everyone that Betsy is a show-off. Natalie is projecting herself onto Betsy. It is common for jealousy and discomfort to trigger projection.

2. Stop and ask: Why do you feel this way? When something upsets you, get to the root cause. This can take practice. If you’re like me, first you need time for the emotional outburst to resolve…sometimes I get a little fired up (shrug emoji). A former coach once said to me after I hurt my knee, “This may be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. You can stop relying on your legs.” I was immediately offended and complained to Zane in the privacy of my living room. The root cause was not that it was rude. The root cause was that it was true and that it implied that I wasn’t well-rounded. Get to the root cause and address it.

Self-Study is about knowing yourself and also about loving all facets of who you are, even the parts you’re not proud of. Study yourself and don’t run from what you find. Embrace the glorious Justin Bieber-loving mess that you are.

As always, love yourself and others. And squats. Always love squats.

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