At this point we all know the importance of self-care.
We know all the good things: the stretching, the breathing, the meditation.
We know that our nervous systems are TAXED and that we need to practice BEING, more than DOING.
In a world that is very “yang”, we all could use a hefty dose of “yin”-- every. Single. Day.
The problem that I notice my clients and students running into over and over is that they do not create a SPACE for this to happen. They know what they need to do to fill their tank, but there’s a breakdown on the way to making it happen. You might have a spot where you tend to roll out your yoga mat but is this spot pulling you in? Is it comfortable and inviting? Is it a space that you WANT to hang out in?
What can you do to delineate a sacred space for your non-negotiable self-care? Are you willing to prioritize this and dedicate a corner of your house to your re-charging? What do you have to gain if you make this happen? What do you have to lose if you don’t?
Set up a shelf or low table with natural elements - crystals, plants, shells, etc. Put meaningful things here, beautiful things. Include the fire element with a couple candles. Have some Nag Champa (the only incense I like) on hand and maybe a Himalayan salt lamp. Any chance of a fountain?? (That’s serious extra credit and totally not necessary.)
A yoga mat is a good start, but have some soft things around too: the BEST partner in combatting a fight/flight/freeze/fawn response is a Yin Mat. If you don't have a Yin Mat, grab a blanket, sheepskin, heating pad and/or pillows. Make it delicious. It’s a hard, cold world out there - hook up some softness for your bod and your mind and your soul!
Perhaps you’re already committed to a daily practice and KUDOS if you are. It would be a very different world if everybody checked in with and nourished themselves on the daily.
If you don’t have a routine/ritual, or for the times you want to switch it up, plop your laptop next to your spot and throw on a yin yoga video. There are countless free self-care videos of all textures and flavors on YouTube that you can access. I have a channel with free guided meditations, breath tutorials and yoga videos on YouTube (Sacredly Sustained) that you are welcome to use. Choose a teacher/guide who inspires you and puts you at ease (without boring the hell out of you).
GET READY TO SHARE THE LOVE
When your kid or cat or dog or spouse walks in the room they may be infected with your cozy coolness and snuggle up next to you to join in the vibe.
Here’s an easy way to regulate a frazzled nervous system that you could use daily or as needed as a way to relinquish stress. You may want to play some calming music/healing sounds - something like binaural beats or 428hz. Set yourself up in your recharging spot...
Begin by lying in a comfortable position and taking three full, yet relaxed breaths. Begin to visualize a wave of relaxation coming across the top of your head. Feel this wave as golden light that begins to cascade down through your head. Drink in this light, breathe it into every section of your body, every cell. Every time you exhale, release tension and holding patterns, allowing them to melt away, effortlessly. Notice the shifts you feel as you allow your attention to settle down through your body, inviting this golden light down through your neck and throat, into your upper chest and shoulders, into your upper back. Continue down through your torso and limbs and if you come across a block in a certain area, notice it without judgement, allowing the reality of it. Is this block/pain/discomfort trying to tell you something? Listen for the message…
When you’ve come through your whole body, feet, fingers and all, expand that sense of relaxed surrender out to the space around your body....
Then, make it bigger, and bigger. Big enough to transform the energy of the building you’re in, the neighborhood, the whole village. Can you expand even more to serenely affect your entire region, country, world?
When you feel complete give yourself a slow, deep inhale and an even longer, surrendering exhale. Lay in this aware state, witnessing and integrating the medicine that this practice has the power to deliver.