self-care means NOT “pushing through.”

I saw a shocking post on Instagram the other day. A yoga teacher posted a gorgeous sunset-silhouette-yoga-pose picture and used her caption to complain about how run down and tired she was. Her head hurt, her tummy was upset, she felt weak. She then asked, “How do you push through?”

She was looking for affirmation to IGNORE every single signal her body was sending her… and yet somehow connecting this dissonance with yoga.

Oh girl, I thought. I DON’T “push through.” I take a nap.

I used to, like most of us, translate exhaustion to a status symbol and wear it like a badge of honor. But because of the refined awareness of my yoga practice and pratyahara, I now listen to what my body is telling me when it’s tired, grumpy, weak or upset. I try to respond completely and compassionately.

Yoga helps me listen to the information my body is giving me so that I don’t “push through” to injury, exhaustion and irritation. Instead, I unabashedly practice self-care.

When napping isn’t possible, I use a Systematic Relaxation technique, which is similar to yoga nidra or yoga sleep. Find a cozy place to relax (lay on the floor with your feet on the couch or even sit in your car) and give your conscious mind a break as your nervous system settles into a tone where rest and healing are possible.

Here are my two favorites:

Contract and Relax:

Body Scan:

Additional Systematic Relaxation Exercises for self-care found here: Guided Meditation.

Happy Not-Pushing-Through,

-lisa


Guided Meditation Teachings

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waiting for something miraculous to happen.

I’m one of those people who experiences anxiety over events on my calendar that are scheduled months in the future. I say things like, “Well, after that workshop, things will slow down and I can really enjoy life again. I’ll have time to cook and take naps have coffee with friends and enjoy leisurely walks after that.”

One profound day, I realized: why am I waiting for life to slow down in the future? Why don’t I just slow down life right now? Why don’t I just enjoy the little leisurely times in my day today, instead of waiting for them to show up in my calendar in the future?

And thus begin an intense commitment to spend 1 hour every afternoon in silence. Not in ‘anticipatory waiting tense’ silence. But in leisurely ‘I’m going to enjoy every single little gift of this moment’ silence. Because waiting for fulfillment or waiting for the clock to slow down or waiting for this big event to take place before I enjoy life again gets tiresome. And frankly, it feels silly. This is actually a very intense spiritual practice in discipline; because TV is so much more fun! Because it’s sometimes difficult to not pick up my phone and tune in to frenetic internet activity. Because being silent feels a lot like just waiting for something to happen. But it’s not. It’s witnessing that something.

I believe that the biggest and best miracle of each day is the miracle that I am alive today. I believe that I am meant to live every moment fully awake, fully alive in grace, fully in love with this gift of being alive today. I’m not rushing into the next thing. I’m not rushing to get something done. I’m not rushing through my day. I’m witnessing the biggest and the best miracle unfold right in front of my eyes.

One of my favorite, miraculous techniques of tuning into this silence is called “Follow Your Bloodstream.” It is the ultimate practice in pratyahara a yogic practice in turning senses inward. Here’s my guided meditation, adapted from Martha Beck.

Follow Your Bloodstream Meditation:

You can find more Guided Meditations Here.

How can you tune in to the miracle of being alive? How do those minutes change your perspective?

Happy Silence

-lisa


Guided Meditation Teachings

Love these Resources? Consider partnering with Lisa to continue providing valuable teachings that promote hope, health and happiness here:

$4.00