When you hear the term ‘self-care,’ what comes to mind? It’s likely to be a massage or a spa day; yet, self-care means so much more. It’s a buzzword we often hear these days, but few people are prioritizing self-care in our hectic 21st century world. We need to expand beyond our current narrow interpretation of the term – especially in a way to truly make a difference in the world, one person at a time.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care can be anything that optimizes our level of overall health, and, by extension, the health of all. A yoga and meditation practice is, more than ever, a key component of self-care. By having a regular yoga and meditation practice – even if for a few minutes a day – one can address both physical and spiritual well-being.
The regular practice of self-care represents a way in which to, over time, peel away layers of what doesn’t serve us and allow us to come home to our truest and most authentic self – the self we learn to treat with kindness, compassion and love, which, in turn, radiates out into the world through the way in which we treat others. As the world has become more reflective about what needs to change, yoga and meditation stand out as particularly accessible tools to aid in the healing of both individuals and communities.
Benefits of Self-Care:
With my own 20+ years yoga journey, I have found the added benefit of living to a greater extent from my intuition rather than my ego through my practice. As I’ve slowly gotten more in touch with who I am at my core through my daily practice, I’ve found myself more in touch with my intuitive side, which has led me to be far more in tune with the needs of others and far less focused on my own ego. When more people reach this level of understanding, real shifts can occur.
Why Yoga is Self-Care?
Yoga allows us the opportunity to listen to, explore and accept who we are. The next step becomes listening to, exploring and accepting others, even those whose beliefs and a way of life that may be different from our own. When we take incredible care of ourselves, we are not being selfish. We are taking an essential step that leads to the caring for others, caring for our communities, caring for the planet, and ultimately the caring for the world. When that self-care is acknowledged and practiced, we realize that we are more alike than different. Prioritizing self-care through yoga is a step that can cause the ripple effect that the world so greatly needs.
It’s a small step, and one that we can all take.[Photo by Aftab Uzzaman | CC BY]
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