From my own experience I noticed that regular yoga practice triggers the need and want for deeper self-care practices.
Yoga teaches us that a self-compassionate and loving approach gives us a great sense of strength. It also offers so many tools to support our journey like mindfulness, awareness and stillness.
Sometimes through our practice, while healing our physical body, different emotional and mental aspects surface and give an opportunity to address them.
I look at the idea of self-care practices from two different angles. I wanted to dive deeper into the difference between them and describe why do I think that they are equally important.
The first type of self-care practice is the one that digs deeper, helps you to grow and expand.
It can be really anything that boosts your potential, inspires you and holds a transformational power. It might mean analysing your negative thoughts patterns, identifying your limiting beliefs or breaking through your childhood wounds. The examples of this type of practice are undertaking personal development courses, coaching sessions or professional educational workshops. You might do journaling, visualisation boards, gratitude practices or even meditation as a way to cultivate a self-loving care. Yoga, especially practicing challenging poses, Yin and Kundalini Yoga might be also your tool to experience some sort of emotional or mental release.
The other type of self-care practice is the one that nourishes you and fills up your cup.
Something that helps you to rest and restore and regenerate your vital life energy. Starting from basic examples like having enough sleep, eating healthy food to meeting with your friends, having occasional massage or even a visit to a spa. Anything that makes you feel calm, rejuvenated and rested.
As I mentioned before, both are equally important. You might find yourself undertaking only challenging self-digging practices and end up being burnt out, depleted and empty. On the other hand, you might only nourish yourself but there is this deep voice of intuition telling you that this is not the right relationship, not the right job or anything else that is in contradiction to what you believe in and want to follow in life. If you don’t recognize it and address it, many spa visits will not be helpful either. This is because on a deeper level you are acting against you and don’t feel connected.
I would really recommend you to write down your self-caring practices, identify which are self-digging and which are refilling and if you have a balance between them. Or maybe you cultivate just one type of practice.
From my experience, if I was to create a quick list I would put reading inspirational books, listening to my mentor podcasts, testing different meditations and practising restorative and Kundalini yoga under the self-digging umbrella. I also go to different yoga schools and practice as a student on a regular basis. I believe that we should always keep an open mind and just learn, learn and learn. From time to time I undertake different business workshops too.
On the nourishing side, I actually find it quite difficult sometimes to keep the balance. As a company owner it is challenging for me just to disconnect and fill up the cup. But when I am in this harmony, I love spending time around nature, going to the park, swimming in the ocean, diving or hiking. I enjoy meeting with my friends and family and definitely I wouldn’t mind a visit to a spa from time to time. Apart from yoga, I love dancing so this is my way to recharge and regenerate.
I hope I have given you an insight on that subject and something to think on. Yoga can be a great start to prioritize your self-care routines and enhance some other ways to honour your body, heart and mind.