As yoga teachers we are taught that self-care is an important part of keeping us grounded, taken care of and being a good teacher. That’s great in theory but many of us need a swift kick in the self-care ass. Self-care is mandatory. Let me repeat: care for SELF is mandatory. As healers, caretakers, mothers, sisters, wives, brothers, fathers, enablers (gulp) or whatever, we care for others but rarely take time for ourselves. If we don’t care for ourselves what results is less patience for others and eventually decreased health (spiritually and physically). Ever notice a grumpier, less willing side of you when your *insert responsibility* requires something and you are just simply too burned out? Too much of that and your body will rebel, I promise. Your body knows more about what’s going on than you do! If you want to continue being the teacher, leader, wife, husband or whatever, you MUST take care of the most important student…you.
Ok, so we’ve established that self-care is a mandate. Many of us know this but do we really know why we don’t practice self-care? Ok, ok. I know that some of us do a little bit but come on, I’m talking *radical* care of SELF here. Making time in the day or week to focus on YOU!
We carve out time for nearly everyone we love in our lives. We love our children, we make time. We love our pets, we make time. We love our spouses, we make time. We love to teach, we make time. But when we need time for ourselves, what happens? We can’t seem to make enough time. To me, this all comes down to self-LOVE. Yup, you heard me, self-LOVE. Now, I’m not suggesting we don’t love ourselves at all. I simply want to remind you that you are amazing and worthy of so much more love
for yourself. So express it and express it loudly!
Show yourself some LOVE.
Seriously, say it: “I love me”.
Ok, now yell it: “I LOVE ME!”
Doesn’t that feel better?
Now think of something you’ve been meaning to do for yourself but haven’t. Got it? Ok, now go do it! Get that massage, those utterly cute pair of shoes you have absolutely no need for, go see your acupuncturist (here’s mine
), get a haircut (those locks need love too). Go DO the things you keep putting aside in the interest of time or other obligations.
You see you every day…in the mirror. Stop for a moment and have a small chat with yourself. Tell yourself that you love YOU. Tell yourself that you’re worth every minute that you spend on your hair, body or whatever. Yes, even yogini’s like to do their hair and sport the occasional bling; we are here in human form ya know. (read the ragging debate about the Yoga Goddess
Once you’ve done the above, now go show your girlfriends some love. Check out FemChic’s blog post
about how to PUMP THEM UP!!
Love to you and love to ME,
“If I am not for myself, who will be?” Pirke Avoth
Art Credit: I love this painting and would credit it to the amazing artist if I knew who they were. If you know, send me a note and I’ll add it.