The third Monday of the New Year is said to be mentally the hardest day of the year. So to honour this day, I’m digging out my very first blog post from 2011. Knowing this is a tough day, I very much wanted to share something uplifting with you. The reality is trying to come up with my own words today is a struggle. I’m on day 3 of leading 4 days of trauma-informed training and needing to preserve my energy for the students I’m sharing with. After just finishing a practice, the words are few and to honour myself I need my quiet time. Grateful today for being open to a little help, grateful for this ongoing mission and journey for self-care and grateful that despite the -31C windchill, the sun is shining brightly warming my heart and hopefully yours as well. namasté
This weekend I was taught a valuable lesson: we cannot offer from where we are empty. As yoga instructors we continually offer open hearts, patience and support to our students and yet how often do we offer this same support to ourselves? I had the luxury of spending this weekend with my beautiful friend Mary Aranas, YogaFit’s Restorative Yoga Trainer at the Long Island MBF. I was reminded of how important it is as givers to also take time to receive. After participating in an incredible 2 ½ hour chakra balancing restorative class, I find myself both renewed and inspired. A personal physical practice is necessary as yoga instructors, what is just as necessary is taking time to nurture and nourish ourselves in the same way we ask our students to nurture themselves in the classes we teach. Taking quiet time every single day for ourselves to renew our spirits and to show ourselves the same compassion we bring to our students, our friends and our family. This can be as simple as a walk outside (no matter the weather!) reading a book , taking a bath, making your favorite homemade recipe and of course personal practice involving meditation.
Start today – in fact start right now with a restorative pose like supported recline pose. Find a quiet corner and turn the ringer off on your phone. Pillows and blankets make great substitutes for bolsters. Lie your mat down and roll up a blanket into a long cylinder. Stack a block or even a large book under the roll at the top of your mat and lie back. You may also want to add a second rolled blanket or bolster under legs for additional support for your lower back. Place another blanket over your body for warmth and an eye pillow over your eyes to help ground your energy and create a deeper sense of relaxation. Restorative poses are meant to bring an absolute release where sleep is often a positive benefit of these poses.
As the cold weather sets in, I find myself looking for ways to bring more comfort into my life. Reaching up to my top shelf, pulling down my favorite cozy sweaters and scarves. Enjoying the new colours I see outside my window as the leaves begin to turn. Lighting candles and filling my home with the smell of my favorite homemade soup – butternut squash with ginger. Even enjoying a rainy day. Seasons are such a beautiful and magical part of Canadian living. I encourage you to find new ways to honour yourself this season. Taking time to put yourself first if only for ten minutes everyday, I promise you it will make a difference.
Yours in happiness and health,