The Healing Practice of Self-Care: A 12-Month Journey
As we embark on a new year where goals and resolutions are set with earnest determination, yet often quickly forgotten, I challenge you to take a different approach. Perhaps a simpler strategy of making one change per month will give time to allow the effects of your practice to sink in and become part of your routine. With that in mind, we are setting out on a year of Self-Care. One strategy per month with postings from our community of yoga teachers and healthcare providers to guide and support your journey. Yes, you may fall off the wagon, but you can hop back on at any time and see where it takes you. Here at Evolution, we believe that you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others, our planet and to find your true self.
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. – The Bhagavad Gita
Let’s start today. In order to know how to apply self-care, you need to take stock and know where you are starting. Have you ever gone through your day and wondered how you got to where you are? Distraction is a huge component of our modern day life and I believe it is caused by and contributes to the high levels of stress that so many of us carry around with us.
In January, I challenge you to make a practice of stopping once a day to take a few breaths and check in with yourself. Do a scan from your head to your toes and observe how you are feeling in the following areas:
Physically – Are you holding tension in your body, is there pain or discomfort or other sensations? Which parts of your body are calm and at rest?
Once you have observed what feels out of balance, try to cultivate a sense of relaxation in all areas of the body. If it feels right, write down your observations so that you can look back to see if there are patterns that show up. Is your physical state connected to the time of day, the day of the week or to certain activities or interactions with certain people? We can best apply our self-care strategies when we have a better understanding of what we need and when we need it. As we go through the month, we’ll work on going deeper with this check-in, but for now, just a few breaths, once per day, practice the art of self-observation and relaxation.