I think we’d all agree that we feel pretty wonderful when someone is kind to us. Kindness has the ability to change our inner and outer worlds, leaving us with the strength to do things differently.

Being kind to yourself is the absolute key to a successful yoga practice. If we’re not, we’re missing the gift. I’m not suggesting for one minute that kindness is a replacement for effort. More that being present with a mindful attitude during practice will help us notice those moments where we loose connection with our kindness. Where those harsh thoughts and attacking words arrive, or those forced, habitual movements happen.

When we practice with a softness towards ourselves we can transform our practice into something that celebrates and honours us, rather than keeps us longing or separate.

Next time you practice set your intention to meet yourself with the same kind attitude you would a dear friend. As you move, breathe, relax pay attention to all the thoughts and feelings arising from your practice. If they don’t support the intention of tenderness reframe them. When you hear a judgment creep in or a tinge of disappointment simple silently say ‘I am happy with whatever my body, heart, breath can offer today’, ‘this is enough for now’ or something equally allowing and forgiving.

Whatever your yoga practice placing a kind heart at the centre of it I believe will help enhance all your efforts on and off the mat.

Join Helen every Wednesday for lunchtime yoga 12.30-1.15pm