In our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to prioritize the needs of others over our own. But listen– you can’t pour from an empty cup. Yoga can be incredible for honing the mind body, making it nimble, lean, and strong. But how do we use practice to become supple and tender? This week, from November 13th to 19th, we’re shining a spotlight on “Yoga and Self-Care,” a theme that invites you to rekindle the relationship you have with yourself and prioritize self-nurturing.
Why Yoga and Self-Care?
Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s a fundamental practice for well-being. We dug into our restorative yoga lesson plans to come up with some suggestions. Get ready to explore:
Restorative Yoga: Purpose / Intention
- The focus of Restorative Yoga can be described as “alert relaxation.”
- Restorative Yoga is designed to support an increasing ability to experience “Beingness” — a quality of awareness not related to external circumstances or “doing.”
- While “yin” in nature, Restorative Yoga is different from the style called Yin Yoga (which is designed to stress ligaments, fascia and bones).
- Restorative poses are not intended to stretch or strengthen, but rather to release ever-deeper layers of tension.
12. Mastering pratyahara powers dharana.
The master key to dharana is to simulate a near-death experience. At this state of our meditation technique we first suspend any sensory input (pratyahara) and then take on the many different elements of meditation (such as color and number of petals, element, shape and color of yantra) until the mind takes on the svarupa (own form) of pure consciousness.From Yoga Meditation by Gregor Maehle (pgs 155-157)
INSPIRATION TO BE BRAVE
Mark Twain tells us that twenty years from now we will be more disappointed by the things we didn’t do than by the things we did do. So, he says, we should throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor… Get this: Science agrees… We are surprisingly resilient in the face of adversity. And, we consistently overestimate how bad we’ll feel in the future if something goes wrong… In fact, this is such a common phenomenon that scientists actually have a name for it. They say we have poor “affective forecasting” abilities… If you go for it and fail, odds are you’ll bounce back faster than you think. But… If you don’t go for it, you run the risk of torturing yourself with an infinite number of scenarios where it could have worked out… Here’s to sailing away from the safe harbors—knowing we have what it takes to bounce back from the inevitable storms (and occasional shipwrecks.) ––Brian Johnson
Being & Doing, Masculine & Feminine
Spend some time… reflecting on what needs balance in your life and then implement something to honor your commitment to include more balance in your life. The biggest one in our culture is usually the balance between being and doing, between the masculine and the feminine… Where are you out of balance? Too much Doing? Too much Being? Too much negative Feminine (resentment, inertia, martyrdom, depression) or to much negative Masculine (anxiety, sleeplessness, overwork, aggression, anger, impatience)? Look to nature for healing. Spend some time in nature and receive the healing and the imprint for good balance that nature can provide.–The Power of Path
Your yoga practice is a sanctuary—a place where you can recharge, reconnect, and rejuvenate. Let’s use this week to honor yourself, your needs, and your journey toward self-care and self-compassion.
Remember, you are worthy of love and care.