Somehow, modern society, particularly in the Western World, has taught us that Self-Care is defined as an indulgence. We are scrutinized and judged by our busy, over stressed peers for taking time to step away from the rigorous routine of daily life to fill up our energy bucket. I still remember the look of horror on one of my student’s faces when I shared with her that I, even her yoga teacher, guiltlessly ‘indulge’ in the odd piece of chocolate! For me, this is not a guilty pleasure…but rather a small joy that reminds me that sometimes the window to the soul resides in the tummy!
Whatever it may be…that wee little morsel of chocolate, a warm bath, a cup of tea, 10 minutes of chillax time with your favorite song blaring in your earbuds, or a walk on the beach, these sneaky little moments of our day are the yin to our yang. Let’s face it, if we allow ourselves to continually wallow in a deep sea of stress, emails, and work and family obligations, our sense of ‘me’ can get very easily lost.
For me, Yoga has always been a means of self-care, and when I truly began to see the clarity of this concept, all of the layers of expectation of what I should be ‘doing’ on my mat dissolved away. Mind you, because Yoga is also my livelihood, I sometimes have to seek other forms of self-care to escape the gravity of the working mind. Some of my fave rituals include walking Takapuna Beach with my Pug, George, vegging out in front of Netflix with my feet in my foot spa (Grand Designs is my current binge!), cooking really yummy food (providing I don’t have to tend to the mess that I make in the kitchen!), and LONG lie-ins in bed with numerous cups of tea.
Whatever your ‘poison,’ remember…it is not poisonous. My hope through the work that we do on our yoga mats is that we can shed any layers of guilt around self-care, because we deserve it. So take the time, today, tomorrow, and every day from there, to stop, check in, ask yourself when last you stepped out of ‘life,’ even for just a few moments…no excuses! None of us HAVE time, so you have to MAKE time…even 10 minutes to savour the sweetness of the simple joys in life…it counts.