Kati Kaia’s original abstract artworks combine with high-performance product design to inspire you to the yoga mat each day. Through natural and sustainable means, the label has created a durable rubber base, topped with high-performance vegan suede - casting a longer and wider profile that’s ideal for stretching your limits! These immersive mats will help you delve deeper into the spiritual element of your practice to find a sense of zen. For every mat sold Kati Kaia donate acres of land for conservation work with Rainforest Trust. Be creative, be fearless and reflect your loving ­practice.

 “The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”

— Michel de Montaigne

For some of us, this itself feels like a life’s work, just to accept and love yourself. It sounds so simple, if you love yourself all those wonderful things that lie waiting for you come rushing in and things get better and better, ‘The universe knows these things...’ they say. The actual journey to self-love, especially if you are coming from a place far from that acceptance, can be long and feel difficult, but with a few key pointers we can all learn to appreciate and love ourselves.

‘How do I love myself?’

We all know - in our deepest self - that in order to experience a happy and fulfilled life, we must first have love and compassion for oneself. All the spiritual teachings encourage us to look inside and find self-love. We go on quests and journey afar because we yearn to know ourselves truly and deeply, or perhaps we try to fill that gap with other means.

It takes a lot of guts to take a look at yourself, your whole self and ask what is really going on? Be it loneliness, neglect… ‘I feel pain, I feel hurt, lost, anxious.’ But that open conversation is the best thing we can do for ourselves - to go to those places unexplored…

“If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.”

— Mother Teresa

Forgiveness.

When you start to peel back those first layers and realise perhaps where your self-love journey fell apart, the best methods to get back on track is forgiveness and self-appreciation. Forgive yourself for mistakes of the past, forgive others for their own projections on you, let yourself feel what you need to feel and move onto awareness and forgiveness. You could start saying words to yourself, like a meditation or prayer.

‘I forgive myself for judging myself constantly and feeling unworthy of love. I forgive myself for believing others words of pain. I forgive myself for judging myself because someone didn’t love me the way I want to be loved. I forgive myself for believing that unless I am loved by another, I am not whole and complete.’

And so on… With this surrender, spirit begins to open. You begin to wake the joy inside, loving yourself starts with the belief that you are going to be there for yourself, always!

Self-Appreciation.

Be kind! It seems pretty obvious, the saying goes ‘treat others how you would treat yourself’. Say kind words to yourself – daily - when you hear that judging voice inside, tell her to back down! Talk to yourself out loud in a quiet space and say kind words like, ­ ‘I appreciate myself for my warmth and kindness; I appreciate myself for being fun and adventurous; I appreciate myself for letting forgiveness into my life; I appreciate myself for enjoying supporting others…’

You could write the list down in a journal and have a small daily practice of adding to that list each day. Then reflect upon that loving list in the evening before bed. A little ‘self-love’ goes a long way!

Divine joy.

Finding your spirit and inner joy is such a great way to move to self-love. What fills your cup from within? Ever experienced that inner joy that comes from walking alone in nature? When the sun hits your skin and you feel very aware of the breeze on the back of your neck, the trees rustling... Perhaps your joy comes from a tender yoga practice, moving your body to the flow of music, a kind meditation or a sweaty workout.

My joy comes from expressing myself fully through art, through the very expressive dance beside my canvas as I paint - tune out - turn inward and absorb colours and expressions from within. I feel ‘lifted’ after I’ve painted, rather like a meditation – it’s an energetic exchange.

What opens you up and softens your heart? Start to bring more of that into your life. Feeling connected to our heart and other people’s joys can bring us together.

When you tend to yourself in small ways of kindness, you make the right choices to support that self-love journey daily. How you exercise, what foods you put into your body, how you listen, who you surround yourself with. Self-communication is key to staying in tune with your mental health. When you have prepared a place for love to come in, your spirit will meet you there in a kind and loving way. Namaste.