Empower Your Self with Self-Care!

To bring the instrument to its natural state of wholeness, regular care and maintenance are ideal.  The body speaks to us through sensation, not necessarily words; so as we listen to what is tight and where there is stress, we can begin to use the tools of self-care.  Through a practice like yoga, we begin to follow what we need in each moment to feel good in our body. – Cheri Clampett, “The Therapeutic Yoga Kit

I am very excited and fortunate to be participating in a Therapeutic Yoga training with Cheri Clampett in a few weeks!  This quote from her book “The Therapeutic Yoga Kit” nicely describes our bodies as instruments needing regular maintenance and care.

Now this may seem really obvious… “Duh Sheetal, of course we need to take care of our bodies!”  But my question back to you is “To what extent do we do this and more so… do we even have the proper skills for self-care?!”

For many of us, I would argue, “NO”.  And I would also add that the reason we don’t have self-care skills is because in our modern western world, we are not taught these skills.  We are taught to eat well and exercise (whether we practice this as a society is a different story!)… but we’re not taught how to TRULY, DEEPLY and CONSCIENTIOUSLY rest and recover!

And I qualify rest with the words “TRULY & DEEPLY” because I am not referring to simply plopping on the couch and ‘zoning’ in front of the TV!  😉  And I use CONSCIENTIOUSLY to point out that I’m not talking about the rest we get when we sleep.

What I am referring to is the ability to still our bodies and minds in a way that allows us to listen and become aware of what the body needs in any given moment.  It is in that place of quiet, patient awareness that the body’s “relaxation response” kicks in and true healing occurs to counteract the daily stresses we encounter.

Be honest with yourself… what do you do in your daily life to give yourself this level of self-care?  Do you feel you have the knowledge to do what you need to do to feel better, healthier?

I’m not posing these questions to you to make you feel bad about yourself or point out deficiencies…  my intention is to first, make you stop and think!  And second, to suggest that it’s never to late to learn self-care skills!

And this is exactly why I have fine-tuned my own practice and teachings to the therapeutic yoga approach.  What I find empowering about therapeutic yoga is that its tools & techniques are gentle, supportive and non-aggressive.  They include things like:

– meditation & visualization

– breathing exercises

– supported yoga poses

– intentional movement

– self-massage.

These practices can be easily applied to rehabilitative situations and chronic conditions as well as for simple, everyday “maintenance”.

Just to give you a taste of a simple deep breathing and meditation technique, I’ve included below an audio for you to follow.  In just this quick technique, we are practicing deep breathing, maintaining awareness in the moment and quieting the body and mind.  All important things for inducing the relaxation response.

Try it out and let me know what you think!  Post your questions or thoughts regarding therapeutic yoga – I’d love to hear from you!

Breathing Meditation

And if you are in the Eastern PA area and want to experience therapeutic yoga, check out my website calendar for my monthly workshops – February’s focus: ‘Relieving Low Back Pain/Tension’.

Speak Your Mind

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