From our Community: Self-care Practices

We love hearing how our community is experimenting with self-care practices during these trying times.

There is no doubt about it, life is challenging right now. The stresses of lockdowns, home schooling, separation from friends and family, vaccine conversations, case number watching, working from home (etc. etc.), are starting to wear on many of us.

Even those in our community who are not in one of the many areas affected by lockdowns, are still feeling the tensions of the ongoing and uncertain nature of the pandemic.

One thing we can all do, is place some extra emphasis on self-care, however that looks for us.

Re-frame self-care as vital, not self-indulgent 

If you find yourself feeling guilty for prioritising time to do something for you, try changing your thinking about self-care from something to squeeze in once everything else and everyone else is taken care of, to becoming a priority.

Progress over perfection – be kind

At the same time, we don’t need to create extra pressure on ourselves by feeling we need to commit to a lot of ‘extra’ activities or routines in the day related to self-care. Sometimes the thing that we know we’ll benefit from the most is the last thing we feel like and other days we just don’t find the time. And that’s OK.

“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”

Kristen Neff

Try micro habits

If overwhelm is something you’re battling with, your self-care routine might be as simple as taking 6 slow mindful breaths in the shower or pausing for a moment to think of 3 things that you feel grateful for in your life. There’s no need to add to your stress if you don’t feel you can manage more in your day.

There is no one-size fits all 

What works for one person may not resonate as strongly for another (or even be possible…..we don’t all have access to the beach right now, for example).  Experiment and be playful in your exploration.

What we are loving right now

Indeed, staff and faculty have also been swapping stories of activities they are loving right now, for their power to restore, renew, energise and calm.  These most certainly include integrated yoga practices such as asana, pranayama and meditation, but we are also loving:

Connection to Nature: This needn’t be bushwalking or bodysurfing if that’s not available to you right now. It’s about simply connecting to the natural and cosmic world. It may be tending to a garden or communing with your house plants.  It may be listening to recordings of waves crashing, or bird and whale song.  It may be focussing attention on a single star in the night sky, or simply feeling sunshine on your face.

Comedy: Laughter really can be medicinal, as it expands our lungs and floods our bodies with feel-good hormones.

Play Time: We are loving kick-a-ball, frisbee-toss, trampolining, taking photos, language-training games, dancing, colouring-in and crafts.

Rest: Did you know ‘to stay’ in French is rester (REST-ay)!  While we’re all staying home, can you find some rest?  Maybe this literally means resting, or maybe it means a break from something, such as social media. 

Gratitude Practices: Gratitude can be strengthened like a muscle. Its presence means anger or dissatisfaction can’t easily take root.

Wherever you are and whatever challenges you’re facing at the moment, we hope you are finding activities that work best for you. 

How can we support you?

We’re really looking forward to welcoming our new Teacher Trainees in 2022. Since we opened the doors for enrolments a few weeks ago, we’re already seeing a lot of interest. It seems many people are already thinking ahead to what the new year can bring for them.

If you’re thinking about a new direction for the new year, we’d love the opportunity to meet you at our next Yoga Teacher Training Diploma course information session or chat by phone or email to learn more about where you’re hoping to taking your explorations in yoga…

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