We come to the yoga mat in search of wellness and repair, and what we discover is so much more.
Yoga is a gateway to knowing ourselves deeply and to understanding how to offer ourselves support and healing.
Self-care is an essential piece of yoga practice and one that is illuminated over and over.
We are learning how to move mindfully, how to tap into the power of the breath and to discover ways to quiet negative thoughts; to use the power of the mind to encourage us on the path to understanding and acceptance of what is right now.
Our western culture and lifestyle are generally one of busyness. Most of us are out of balance in our work and leisure time and are constantly connected to that which creates stress and anxiety. We are out of touch with our own hearts, our own breath and the power of our bodies.
Giving yourself time to tap into all that you are is the key to deep inner nourishment.
Here are some simple ways to nourish yourself when you are seated at your desk, in your car, waiting in line or as often as you can throughout your day.
Listen to the sound of your breath
Close your eyes or relax them so you are looking without seeing. Tune your ears to the gentle, wavelike sounds created by breathing in and out.
Listen for at least 10 full rounds of breathing. At the end of this session, take a pause to notice how you feel.
Be nourished by the lullaby of your breath.
Offer Yourself Massage
Touch is powerful and your hands hold lots of connective nerves with direct links to the main energy centres of your body.
When we are itchy, we scratch; when something hurts, we will bring our hands to that area and try to massage a painful place. Often we do these things without truly paying attention.
If you are able to rub your hands together vigorously a few times, begin with that action to increase the heat and energy. Place your hands anywhere on your body that needs some loving touch. Rub the back of your neck, your belly, or maybe cross one arm across your chest to rub the top of your opposite shoulder.
Focus on that part of your body with your full attention. Slow and relax your breathing and soften or close your eyes.
Be nourished by your touch.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oil is, well, an essential part of changing your mood. Oils can be inhaled by waving an open bottle underneath your nose, or by placing a few drops in your home or car diffuser. You can also add a few drops to a tissue, on your clothes or on your pillow. Or use your healing hands and place a few drops in your palms and rub your hands together. Cup your hands over your nose and inhale deeply.
Some excellent go-to essential oils are lavender, eucalyptus, lemon and peppermint.
Your nose and your reaction to the smell will let you know which essential oils are the right ones for you.
Be nourished by nature.
Light a candle
The glow from a candle evokes feelings of calm and peacefulness within us all. Beeswax candles emit a deep amber glow and give off the pleasing scent of honeyed wax.
Once you’ve lit your candle, spend a few mindful breaths resting your eyes on the glow of the light. Relax your lower jaw, your shoulders and give your mind a rest.
Be nourished by fire.
Listen to Music
Just like listening to your breath, music has the power to affect and enhance our moods. The vibrations of the instruments can create vibrations within us which will resonate throughout your being. Choose a piece of music that enhances how you wish to feel. Close your eyes, sway, dance or lie still and let the music wash over you and through you.
Sing along and sing loud! Adding your voice only creates more positive vibrations.
Be nourished by vibration.
May you be nourished by all that you are and all that you hold within