I know it’s rough out there. You want to be authentic and genuine, allowing a sense of mindfulness to in ltrate every aspect of your life, not just your yoga practice. You don’t want to play games, but sometimes being too vulnerable means losing what you want.

With the rise of social media apps like Tinder, the world of dating has allowed us to make so many connections, but are we really connecting? I’ve found myself becoming completely consumed by relationships in the past. But with mindfulness, we can begin to experience much more peaceful and ful lling connections.

1 – Make self-love your priority
“Authentic self-esteem comes not from improving your self-image but from knowing and accepting that core self within that is beautiful, wise, and loving,” explains Deepak Chopra. From this place of genuine self-love that doesn’t rely on external validation, you put yourself in the best position to love others and be loved. If you truly loved yourself, you wouldn’t chase others, desperate for them to substantiate you. You would enjoy the delight of your own company. Get in the habit o2f continually asking yourself the question: What would I do if I loved myself?

2 – Listen to your body

One of the major benefits of our yoga practice is body awareness. Through tuning into our bodies we begin to understand how emotional tension can manifest itself in our physical bodies. Liz Koch (coreaware- ness.com), is an expert on the psoas muscle (a long fusiform muscle located on the side of the lumbar region). Liz tells us that we hold a lot of emotional tension in this area, which is why it’s not uncommon to ex- perience strong emotions in certain yoga poses; “A primal messenger of the central nervous system the psoas is an emotional muscle expressing what is felt deep within – what is commonly referred to as “gut feelings”. Remember the last time a relationship didn’t go according to plan or ended badly and thinking ‘I should have listened to my gut’? Start to trust the sensations in your body. These feelings may be giving you some very necessary insight into your subconscious, and hence the likelihood of success in the relationship.

3 – Be present

One of the many benefits of the practice of mindfulness is the ability to create and maintain a sense of presence. Whether you’re going through a rough breakup, or falling blissfully in love, know that everything is temporary. When you see negative thoughts and judgments emerging, allow them to be there and pass. When fantasies begin to arise and you become lost in it all remember: you have no idea what’s going to happen. Don’t question the relationship and your behaviour. Enjoy it in the now and allow it to unfold organically.

 4 – Give yourself space

When you start seeing someone new, you begin to see yourself in different and sometimes challenging ways. During this period, give yourself extra time to nurture yourself and stay grounded, becoming aware of patterns and perhaps insecurities that arise. Sometimes the urge to connect with another can overtake the need to have time to you. You might think that spending every waking moment with your latest squeeze will make you happy, but we all need time alone to process our own emotions, especially when embarking on
a new romantic endeavour.

5 – Learn to nurture your inner child

Mindfulness guru Thich Nhat Hanh reinforces: “To take good care of ourselves, we must take care of the wounded child inside of us…if you listen every day, healing will take place.” We all carry wounds from our childhood, and these can be triggered and re-emerge in romantic relationships. When you notice yourself experiencing strong emotions in reaction to a situation with your lover, see if you can sit with that feeling. Sometimes when we feel the urge to strongly react, we’re experiencing trauma from our past – often this has little to do with the current situation. Take time to listen to and take care of your inner child before reacting.