Tag Archive for: yoga

Love Lessons: Mind-Body Connection


There are three basic steps to complete before you can truly find a “forever kind of love”:

  • A mindset realignment
  • A flexible body
  • A spiritual connection

⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ This doesn’t mean what you think it means! ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️

This month, Damona’s explaining what all of this means and then walking you through these steps on the Dates & Mates podcast.

We’re releasing a 4 part series designed to take you deeper on a mental, spiritual, and even physical level to design the love life you want.

Lessons 1, 2 and 3 are LIVE NOW!

These short lessons will take you less than 30 minutes to complete, but might be the key to unlocking your missing link in love.

In the first lesson, we talked about self-forgiveness and deciding when you are ready to date.

In the second lesson, Damona gave a meditative guide to understanding your ideal mate.

But this week, your body tells you what your love life is missing. So let’s get physical!

I’m helping you open up to love by releasing blocks in your body and strengthening a mind-body connection in today’s yoga tutorial.

This simple exercise is made for everyone. So take 30 minutes to dedicate to this journey today!


Table Top – use your body with intention. (6:00)

How are you showing up in your relationships? How are you setting up your relationship foundation?

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)

Plank Pose – What is your gut feeling?

Mountain Pose – Receive Love

Are you in a position to receive the love you deserve?

Sun Salutation – Leading forward with the heart (11:00)

Are you ready for this relationship? Are you pushing yourself too hard? 

Downward Facing Dog – (13:00)

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)

Close your eyes – Trust and Faith

Cobra Pose – Gaze forward through your mind’s eye (15:27)

(picture courtesy of Jeff Nelson for Yoga Journal)

Tree Pose – Focus your intention

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)

Twisted Lunge

(picture courtesy of gaia.com)

Camel Pose

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)



Damona  0:12  

Lovers, welcome to dates and maids. We are closing out this seventh season of the show departing from our regular format of headlines and interviews and QA to bring you a micro series called love lessons. If you’re new to the show, welcome, I adore you. I’m so happy you’re here. And I strongly encourage you to go back and listen to some other episodes from this season first, because this is going to be a different kind of thing. But for those of you who are ready to go deeper with me and want to experience a different kind of transformation, strap on your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. Last week, I shared an exercise with you about the mind and How to visualize yourself in the future and train your brain to get on a course to find your ideal mate. So today, I will do an exercise with you that uses the body to heal prior wounds and open you up for love. Our bodies are incredible. They store information and emotions that inform our daily choices in life. But just as we store tension and pain and fear, there are movements that you can do to release these emotions and unlock a deeper level of trust and confidence and openness to love. The other powerful thing about the body is that it can’t be talked out of something. While you can do a mental exercise, you can do those exercises all day but still sabotage yourself with negative thinking that counteract the positive effects of visualization and meditation and other mental exercises. When you work with your body, you can be impacted on an immediate physiological level. Without having to battle with stories and memories in your mind. The body is pure action and reaction. And this is one of the reasons that you’ve heard me say on the show before, that you learn in motion. This is why I do improv and practice dates with my VIP clients so that they can feel the new dating habits in their bodies. And then it becomes second nature and you don’t have to think about it. It’s also why I say that you don’t necessarily need to wait until you’re 100% over a breakup to begin dating again. We can talk about your feelings and picture yourself in the ideal relationship forever, but you cannot get there without taking action. So let’s take some action right now. 20 years ago, I took my first yoga class and I never looked back it transformed my body for sure. But more importantly, it transformed my mind. Today, I’m going to give you a series of poses that have a profound ability to impact your love life. What’s coming up is not a yoga class per se, but it’s a tutorial. If you’re new to yoga, I will describe the poses in detail and we will post a blog at dates and mates comm showing the poses if you’re not totally clear on what it’s supposed to look like, but also I encourage you to just trust yourself. And even if it’s not perfect, as long as you’re not in pain, you don’t have to do it perfectly. You’re making progress just by attempting the movement. Now, if you’re a seasoned practitioner, I hope that this session gives you a deeper understanding behind the postures that you can take into your flow classes and practices in the future. This will not be a substitute for regular class and this is not intended as a workout. But it can be a helpful supplement to your regular practice and give you a deeper level of knowledge as to why your teacher is following you through a certain sequence of poses. Before we begin moving, I have to include a disclaimer that I am not a yoga teacher. I’m a committed practitioner of 20 years I’ve studied with some of the best teachers in the world. And I am a former AFA certified fitness instructor, and an accredited Pio plotters, yoga teacher. And most importantly, if you do any of these exercises at home, you must be aware of your surroundings. So clears some space out. And let’s begin. 


If you have a yoga mat or blanket, please take a seat on it. Now, ideally with your legs criss crossed or if that’s not possible for you and your body. Prop yourself up on a pillow or sit on your knees. Now close your eyes. Take a breath in and out And feel yourself in your seat. Whatever part of your body is touching the ground right now, visualize the points of contact rooting into the ground, through the floor


into the earth. You’re grounded and you’re sure of yourself as you are connected to the earth. Breathe in again. Hi and feel that sensation as you breathe out. Now I want you to set an intention for our time together. What do you hope to get out of this experience? How do you want to feel when it’s done? breathing that intention. Breathe that intention in and over your body. In and out. And sit with intention for a moment. Now, you can open your eyes and come up onto all fours. So this is tabletop position. I want you to look at your fingers. How are your hands connected to the mat or the floor below you? Are they placed with intention? Or are they kind of curled? Or are they flat and strong? How strong are your forearms and your elbow right now? Okay, it’s alright if you did it without tension before, but now, let’s place them mindfully. I want you to think about spreading your fingers out evenly. And think of pressing the mound of your hand like right there under your knuckles into the ground. Imagine you’re almost clawing the floor while pressing your fingertips and Knuckles into the floor beneath you. And then Picture yourself drawing up strength from the floor. So you have all five fingers and the pad of your hand pushing down yet, muscle energy is pulling up from the floor. feel those muscles of your arms and the rooted intensity of your fingers. This is a foundation. This is being grounded. And you see how it affects the whole experience of the finger, the hands, the forearms, the elbows and the shoulders in this pose. Okay, now relax for a second and go back to how you were doing it before. Don’t think about it too much. Just put it back how you were. And then ask yourself this question. How have I been showing up in my dating life or in my relationships? I might just placing my fingers on the mat and expecting to be supported. Or am I taking the time to set up my foundation and using my energy to hold my intention. So now you get to reset your foundation. Go ahead and push those fingertips and the mount of your hand into the floor, climbing the floor almost and drawing that energy up. Do it the good way. And I’ll pop up to plank pose. So this is ideally with your knees up off the floor, toes curled under making a straight line from the top of your head all the way down your spine to your heels. And if that’s not accessible for you right now, that’s okay. Put your knees down, but focus on getting that straight line. You want that going from the top of your head down to your knees. Now Engage your core. And this isn’t Suzanne subbers ABS of steel stuck in your belly. This means picture the entire core of muscles The front sides and back of you, which all support you in this post. If you’re not feeling them yet, you’re not feeling that court, drop your hips down an inch and see if that engages them. Stay there. I know you’re still there. Think of how important your core is to your decision making in dating and relationships. When you’re out with someone and you’ve heard me say before that you have to get in touch with the feeling you have when you’re with them. You need to know what’s up in your gut. We are still up my friends. We’re still up in plank. You’ve heard the saying, I had a gut feeling right? This is where that feeling begins. Keep breathing. This exercise is helping you to awaken this area of your body so that you can feel your gut when it’s speaking to you. Okay, it’s alright, you can come back down. Come back down now to all for us. Intense right


for more experience practitioners you can add on a Breath of Fire. That’s another great gut check. We’re not going to do it today. But I encourage you to incorporate that into your practice. If you find yourself saying, I don’t know what to look for in a match, or I feel out of touch with my gut reaction. And as you train this gut instinct, you should be able to know within the first 30 minutes or so of meeting someone if your gut is giving you a yes or no on them. Now, if you’re familiar with sun salutations, you can come up and move into your own flow right now. And then I’m going to throw you a curveball in a moment. But for now, if you’re new to yoga, if you’re completely new, you don’t know what a sun salutation is, don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through it right now. Come up to standing at the top of your mat. Some teachers will tell you to bring your feet together when you come up to standing. But that’s physiologically challenging for many people. If you look at where your hips are placed, bring them together does For a lot of people in the hip and groin area, so for myself and for many other people, if you are more comfortable with your legs, hip width apart, that’s all good. And I encourage you to do that stand with your arms at your sides and your palms turned slightly open. Think of this as a position of receiving. And remember, remember we had that intention from before. Put that back in your brain and we are going to flow. Now like you’re drawing a sun, bring those arms up and around and up to the sky, and then bring them apart and dive forward to touch the ground. If you don’t have the flexibility to touch the ground like this, just bend your knees, no biggie. modify this to make it feel good for you. Now with your arms still on the ground, I want you to take your head up and look forward towards your future. And release your head down and drop back to the floor. keeping those in Knees bent if your hamstrings are tight. And now we’re going to step back to all fours or plank position as you were a moment ago. And I want you to lower down slowly to the floor, as if you’re doing a descending, push up. This is Chaturanga. Go all the way down to the floor. Next, we’re going to come up to Cobra. Inhale, no upward facing dog folks, most people do not have the flexibility for that and doing poses, your body isn’t ready for is the number one way to get injured. Just like pushing yourself into a relationship that is not right for you is number one way to get your heart broken. So we’re just going to keep our hands down and push into the floor with our hands with the same intention we did in tabletop. But keep our elbows bent. So you’re going to pull your heart through your shoulders, think of leaning forward with the heart. And we are unlocking the heart through this exercise. We will get deeper into that and Moment. Exhale and release down to the ground and push back to downward facing dog. This is basically just an upside down V position. If you don’t know it again, tight hamstrings, no problem, just bend your knees and focus on getting your butt up to the sky and that straight line from your head all the way down your tailbone. We are going to breathe here for three deep breaths, focusing on our original intention again.


Unknown Speaker  13:30  

Breathe in


Unknown Speaker  13:33  

and out


Damona  13:38  

and out. Breathing in and out again, preparing to jump or step forward to the top of your mat. Then circle your arms up again. Come up to the sky and back down to Mountain Pose. Tadasana again at the front of your mat with your arms at your sides turned slightly open In a pose of receiving. Now, if you’ve already been flowing, please come back and meet me here at the top of your mat for your curveball. Relationships require an element of trust and release. And this is one of the things that my clients struggle with most. So to allow us to feel the sense of trust and faith. I’m going to have you close your eyes and do all of that. Again. I want you to allow my voice to lead you and don’t worry about how you look or where you are on your mat. We are going with feeling eyes closed. Breathe in and circle your arms up to the sky. And then as you hinge forward, dive your head down to the ground as you circle your arms around to the floor. And exhale, eyes still closed. Now inhale and bring your head and heart forward, but keep your arms down and your eyes still closed. And here’s the tricky part step back to plank pose. Feel it? Are you getting that gut check? Uh huh. Now, we’re going to exhale all the way to the ground. Chaturanga. Reverse push up and inhale again, bring your head up to cobra pose bhujangasana. As your hands are rooted to the earth, your eyes are still closed and yet you’re gazing forward through your mind’s eye. Bringing that heart forward. Now tuck your toes under and push back. Downward facing dog on a muka Shavasana. Eyes are still closed, exhaling fully and inhaling. What are you feeling? This is bringing up anxiety to have your eyes closed. Is it scary to be inside alone with yourself. Keep breathing. We’re still in downward facing dog. Keep sitting with your feelings. On your third inhale and exhale, step forward to the top of your mouth, still keeping your eyes closed or back at Tadasana Mountain Pose. What do you feel now? on your own, I encourage you to do a closed eye flow again sometime, but for time, we’re just going to do that one circuit today. Yet, if you do another sequence with your eyes closed, pay attention to the feelings that come up for you. When you must lose control, and struggle with balance and face what’s inside your body and mind when you’re alone in there, without outside stimulus. For today’s exercise, we’re going to move on to a few more poses. tree pose is next. Turn your right knee out to the side and lift the inside of your foot up to your calf or inner thigh. Just avoid the knee you’re either above it or below it essentially your leg You’re going to look like a flagpole and your knee a flag. And I want you to put your hands together in prayer position or raise your arms up to the sky. How’s your balance? Are you looking forward? Do you have a focal point? Do you have a focus? Do you have a focus in your love life? Think of that focus that intention, get clarity. See how that impacts your balance. In yoga, we call that focal point, your drishti. And your drishti will tell you whether or not you can stay in a pose. Maybe if you’re feeling balanced, you can lift your leg higher or your gaze higher. People are always talking about seeking balance and visualizing. There’s this magical point where everything just comes together that they just haven’t attained yet. haven’t unlocked that level. The Game of Life. What you’re experiencing right now is that to get to a relative level of balance, there is a constant ebb and flow. Your muscles are probably working very hard to balance just like your mind is working to find that focal point. Switch sides. You take your left leg up to your calf or inner thigh and arms up to the sky, or in front of you palms together in prayer position, find that focal point. Breathe in


and out. Are you struggling to find your balance? But feelings are coming up for you when you do? self doubt? Are you saying I can’t do this? What is wrong with me? Then ask Have you let go of your muscle energy? Have you lost sight of your drishti your focal point? Are you challenging yourself enough? Are you just okay being in balance Are you willing to push yourself further? If you’re balanced, see if you can look a little higher, or bring your arms up, or your legs up. Oh, did that push you out of balance? Are you out of your comfort zone? Wait, are you still breathing? That’s the most important thing in yoga, keep breathing, inhaling and exhaling. My friends, this is what balance really looks like. This is the constant process of being in and out of balance with a constant focus on realignment. And I guarantee you that the feelings that are coming up right now what you’re experiencing emotionally, it’s probably echoed in your daily life and in your love life as well. Try to approach approach yourself with kindness and compassion. Last few moments really grood down through the ground see yourself as a tree with strong roots whose leaves and branches can move in a breeze, but still say connected to the trunk. You’re strong, you’re connected, build out power. And release. Let it go back into dossena Mountain Pose. We’re going to move on to my least favorite type of pose, but one that is extremely important and you’ll see why it’s my least favorite and why it’s so important in just a moment. Now, take your right leg back into a lunch, you can either put the knee down to the mat, if that’s more secure for you, or you can keep it up. Now press your hands together in prayer position, and I want you to rotate your torso to the left over your left knee. Breathe in and imagine yourself wringing out your midsection as you pull your body left. Keep turning, keep turning. Keep turning and if you can now take your right elbow outside your left knee I know it sounds like twister. You are in a twisted position with your upper body. Moving to the left and you’re in a lunge in your lower body with your left leg forward. You are compressing your mid body. But I want you to try to lift up through your heart and bring it closer to your prayer hands can you twist a little more through your heart? What is coming up right now, um, for me, I get anxious in this position. I really want to move I really want to move I really want to pull out and away but I know that that feeling is just the remnants of my avoidant attachment style wanting to run away at the first sign of trouble. Maybe that’s coming up for you too, but still stay in it. Remain in the twist until you can feel the feelings coming up for you and keep breathing. You can try to lift your back knee and balance if you’re not there yet one more moment breathing in And out. On an exhale, release and switch sides. You can bring your right leg forward and your left knee to the ground or up, hands again, at prayer position, and now we’re going to rotate to the right for you in and on an exhale, wring out those in our drag them out all the way to the right, keep going and on an exhale how you can hook that left elbow outside your right knee, and then feel all the feels. Maybe for you, this is very comforting. You might not have the same associations that I do. Maybe for you, it brings up a feeling of being supported and locked in or connected to your core self. Or maybe it brings up a lot of discomfort for you. And for you the juice in this pose is about learning to To be nonreactive in a challenging situation, we want to choose to respond in challenging moments, rather than just react or explode. Whatever’s coming up for you Don’t be afraid of the feeling. Stick with it. Breathe in and out once more. What was that intention again?


Are you still remembering it? Are you here in the moment? Are you thinking about what comes next in your day? Try to be right here with me. Breathe in and on an exhale, wring out those innards, wring them out as you turn to the right. It’s backbend time. This is the most important movement for my clients looking for love as we are often afraid to open up our hearts. I’ve seen tremendous relief happen in people’s lives beginning with learning to open the heart physically, as it leads to open The heart emotionally. We are going to move into camel pose.


So now come up to sitting on your knees, we’re going to lift our body up. So you’re making a right angle at the back of your knee, your torso is straight up and your shins are parallel to the ground. Now, tuck your toes under, unless you already knows know this pose and you can do it with your feet flat. tuck your toes and put your hands on your hips. With your thumbs facing towards the back. You should be able to feel your tailbone. Now lift up through your heart. We’re not moving anywhere just yet. Just imagine your heart like Superman, bursting through your chest up to the sky and begin to dip your head slightly back and up to the sky without crunching your neck. This is a very vulnerable position isn’t it? When you open your heart to someone, one of your most Most important organs is exposed unprotected. And if you experienced heartbreak in the past, as I’m sure most of you have, this could be very hard for you. It could feel like you’re literally having to crack open your ribs to get your heart through. But the more you do it, the easier it will be. And we need this kind of opening to be able to let love in. So this pose could be enough for you. 


But if you want more or you know, camel pose, you can begin to take your hand back to your heel, still lifting up through your heart, and then slowly take the other arm back. So now you’re in a teardrop sort of shape, with your heart up to the sky and your head falling back behind you. Again, not crunching your neck. Your body is fully supported by your hands as they push into your heels feel that support Knowing that when you open your heart It’s okay. Because your network supports you, your friends, your family, me, we literally have your back. So you can just let go of having to protect and cover your heart all the time. It’s time to release. Breathe in again and out. Now we’re going to come up slowly Hold on, but here is the most important thing. Your head comes up last. I guarantee you if you do this too fast, you will lead with your head just like you do in love. Today, we are going to lead with our hearts trying to come up from your hips and your heart all at once. Think of rooting down like a tree through your knees and then pulling your heart forward with you while your head trails behind. Did you Read with your head. Hmm, if so, try it again. Heart first heart, first head last heart burst. And once you’re up high, you can come back down to sitting, and then move into lying on your back. Your feet are stretched out on the ground, your arms are at your side, your palms are up to the sky. Relax into your final resting post Shavasana feel the effects of this practice, wash over your body. This is just a primer of some key poses to get you into the feelings of dating and relationships and the patterns that may not be serving you that have become imprinted on your body. So to review, we played with getting in touch with our core, closing the eyes to access trust and surrender. Balance And needing to accept that ebb and flow of life, twisting to access our attachment style instincts and our ability to stay calm in the face of challenges. And finally, we open the heart to allow others to come in and see our true self. There’s so much more that we could do. But this is just a starting place. If you do this practice again, once a week, you will notice that there is a change that will happen in the way that you’re connecting to your body, and how that’s affecting your mind and the patterns that you have in love. All that will show up in your practice and it will show up in your real life. The next time you’re in a regular yoga class, if you are a yogi, think of the deeper association of these postures. Fitness is amazing. But Yoga is so much more than that and it can lead to a deep discovery. And acceptance of yourself, which is really what this whole life journey is about. Right?


Close your eyes for a moment. And remember that intention word that we started this practice with. Imagine it, bathing your body, head to toe and washing over you. Now let it all go and just be you’re here. There’s only one you you can stay stuck in a body that has locked in hurt and anger and sadness. Or you can release all that and write a new story for yourself. From here on out. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are you Thank you for listening to this special love lesson with me. Next time, we will have a love lesson for your spirit. This is all leading up to our season eight launch on August 3, we have a super fantastic special guest for that show, who I cannot wait to reveal to you. But in the meantime, you should follow me on social media. And I will announce first on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook who that guests will be. plus I would love to hear your reaction to these special love lessons episode so you can message me on social media at damona Hoffman and I would love your support of this show through Patreon. I am also adding videos within the Patreon Friends with Benefits Facebook group that will give you a behind the scenes take on the recent dates and mates episodes. And they’ll also include live private q&a is with me. Plus, you’ll get the members only podcast Plus, you’ll get the members only podcast library that is now open. We have over 300 episodes of dates in mates. Our public feed has the most recent 100, which is damn good, but there’s so much more and I’d love for you to have access to that you can become a member for only $5, a month@patreon.com, slash dates and mates. The link will be in the show notes. But I wanted to bring you these love lessons without add interruptions in the middle, because I wanted you to be able to experience that journey with me without interruption. So if you want to support that, and keep making the show free to everyone, and you have five bucks laying around that you could pledge to the show, I would deeply value your support@patreon.com slash dates and mates. Thank you so much for your recent five star reviews. I have just I’m so honored that you took the time to be with me and to share your thoughts about the show with others. And thank you for also sharing these episode So with other people who could benefit from them. Thank you so much for listening. Until next week. I wish you happy dating