February is a month known for love, and Saint Valentine.

Actually, there were probably a dozen different Saint Valentines – the first one died around the year 270. One of them inspired the national holiday of Saint Valentine’s Day.

The version of Saint Valentine that we celebrate was called upon to watch over the lives of lovers, those becoming engaged, and married. In addition to these duties, he presided over beekeeping, those with epilepsy, the plague and fainting. And those who are travelling. All of these were known as his “spiritual responsibilities”.  

Image free license pixabay by John Hain 

Love is so powerful, in fact there is an entire yoga path based around love and devotion – Bhakti Yoga. Hanuman is so devoted to Rama and Sita that he reveals his heart to them to show how devoted he is. I also think of Mother Teresa as a Bhakti Yogi. She served the poorest of the poor in a manner that she would serve God. What a mission in life. 

In the Bible, 1 John 4, verse 16 tells us “God is Love”, so it makes complete sense that a pathway in yoga to Oneness with our Creator would be through love. 

The Bhagavad Gita encompasses three pathways of yoga:

Karma Yoga – the yoga of action, based around selfless service

Bhakti yoga – the yoga of love and devotion 

Jnana Yoga – the path of wisdom, higher knowledge, that leads us to the light.

When I studied the Bhagavad Gita it became clear to me that these three paths of yoga became an equation for living:

Actions + Love = Light

Karma + Bhakti = Jnana


It is so easy (in theory). Think before we act. Make our actions count. Be kind. Act consciously. Love one another.   

Let us do our best to open our hearts this month, if not every month.

Below is a poem I came across many years ago when visiting Mary-Jo Fetterly. It was in a monthly calendar she had, and it has touched me deeply.

I love it because its very words remove my fears and open my heart. I have loved this poem so much so that I created a vinyasa of hand mudras to flow with Ustrasana, the camel pose. I hope you enjoy this beautiful poem, and the vinyasa I created for it. Watch it here. Find it and so much more on the SOYA Youtube channel

Hearts Wildly Open

Breathe love
into the cup
of your hands
and place your flaming
palms against your heart
Let this warmth
melt your fears
like wax before a fire
and watch the delicious
softening reveal
the wildflower
of your heart.
We must live
with Hearts Wide Open
Hearts Wildly Open.

–Kali Heydel (can’t find you Kali to ask permission to share this, so please reach out if you see this)

Marion Mugs McConnell is the co-founder of SOYA and the SOYA Yoga Teacher Training program. This year she celebrates 51 years of yoga and continues to dedicate her life to this amazing path, revealing the gems of true, classical yoga. 

Mugs is the author of Letters from the Yoga Masters: Teachings Revealed through Correspondence from Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, and Others, published by North Atlantic Books copyright © 2016 ISBN 978-1-62317-035-6.