A good question right? I’m not just talking about excercise or eating right. I mean pampering yourself. Gentle yoga, breathing, a great bubble bath, sitting in front of the fire, meditating, singing, dancing. How about we take a moment to just breathe? Sit upright, plant both your feet on the earth, and place your hands, palms up, on your legs. Close your eyes. (C’mon, this will only take a moment…turn your phone off, take a five minute break from your busy life) Bring your attention to your belly and how the belly rises and falls with each breath. Relax your jaw, soften your eyes and allow your shoulders to drop away from your ears. Start to bring your breath into your lungs. Belly then lungs expand with the inhale and lungs then belly deflate with the exhale. Do this a few times and just keep your awareness on your breath. Try to keep a wave like motion with each breath. Now you can start to lengthen your exhale and let out a sigh when you do. Open your mouth and let out a long sigh. AAAAAAAAAA. That’s nice. Now that you’ve read HOW to do this….go ahead and do it. When you are done, notice how you feel. Then go ahead and get back to whatever you were doing. You took five minutes to pamper yourself.
We are human beings…not human doings. How can we stop doing and start being? Well, obviously we have to continue doing things. There’s our work, our children, our pets, the daily chores, to name a few. In these days of upheaval and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself. This could just mean doing the above breathing exercise a couple times a day. Eventually this exercise becomes part of your daily life. Breathing will open your heart and slow you down, putting you right into the present moment.
Slowing down……let’s start here. Yoga was a good start for me. My first few years of practice I was your “type A” yoga student. Moving fast through what the instructor asked us to do and definitely NOT breathing. In my quest to “do” everything right, I was actually hurting myself and was most certainly NOT in the present moment. Only when I woke up one morning and couldn’t move my neck, did I realize something was wrong with my way of thinking regarding the well being of my physical body. This took me on a long journey through many types of healing modalities from accupuncture to x-rays. It eventually led me to some great body work and to the raw food lifestyle. And to practicing a more gentle form of yoga. Now my yoga practice is more about what my body wants and not what my mind or the instructor wants.
What can you do today to start pampering yourself? How about these ideas:
Cooking your evening meal during the day in a crock pot saves time. Instead of slaving in the kitchen at night, take a few moments to do your breathing. This will give your body the time to let go of the day, which will give you a clearer mind when it comes to choosing what and how much your body needs to eat.
I have only a very small space in my house to lay out my yoga blanket. But I do this as many mornings as I can. I also do some yoga before I even get up. Set your alarm for just 10 minutes earlier and stay under the covers. Breathe, stretch….and don’t forget to make sound on your exhale.
I live in the northeast, where winter brings many sunless days. On the days the sun is in the sky, I put myself right in its path. Sitting in my window or laying on the floor to absorb the rays.
What are you going to do today that’s just for you? How are you going to slow down during this very busy time of the year? I am sending you light and love…….