Self-Care Time...For YOU!
No matter how you celebrate the winter holidays and prepare to ring in the New Year, chances are December commitments piled on top of your usual teaching load, work schedule, and family time have you running a bit ragged. How can you possibly attend to it all with good cheer? The key lies, the experts say, in creating time for a little self-care.
Kathryn Herbert, a long-time ayurveda practitioner (yoga’s ancient sister science), suggests that you balance your mounting obligations with practices that nurture your body-mind’s natural wintertime inclination for solitude and rest (think: hibernation). She recommends you do that by practicing what the ancients called dinacharya, which means “daily ritual.” Do it first thing in the morning, before the day gets away from you. Attending to the same thing, at roughly the same time every morning without having to think about it, ensures that you replenish your own reserves before you go out in the world to serve others.
Although traditional dinacharya contains specific guidelines for getting your day started (link to ayurveda site for dinacharya), many yoga practitioners create their own set of practices that keep them focused and balanced. Here are five suggestions:
- Before you get out of bed in the morning, spend a few moments breathing consciously (alternate nostril breaths and Ujjayi breathing are both lovely options) and set an intention for your day. For example, it is said that every morning the Dalai Lama vows to bring happiness to as many people as possible.
- Brush your teeth and then, to really get the job done, ayurveda says, use a tongue scraper.
- Treat yourself to an ayurvedic oil massage before stepping into the shower or bath tub. It’s the perfect mind-body salve. Your mind gets the focus it needs to get through the day and your skin gets the relief it craves from the dry, harsh winter conditions. Kathryn Herbert explains more here and gives you the step-by-steps.
- Do some kind of physical practice, even for ten or fifteen minutes to get your body moving.
- Make yourself breakfast and eat it slowly, bringing your full attention to the task.
- KEEP THE SELF-CARE GOING! Continue your commitment to yourself post-holiday by joining us in Palm Springs at the YogaFit MBF conference. Immerse yourself in all things yoga while basking in the warmth of the desert sunshine and the YogaFit community. Learn more here.