If you allow yourself to be open minded you may begin to hear the teaching and learn from it….
I ensure that my clients know about self -care and are able to refuel themselves with the elements that make them feel good, refreshed, confident to be able to continue on with their day/week/month/year. Self-care can incorporate something you do daily, weekly, monthly, but it needs to offer you what you need. Most of us can feel when we need that top up, and it is rarely filled by others. Self-care is just that ‘self’ anything you receive from others is a bonus and a nice addition to your own refuelling.
I had recognised that my self-care needs were needing a top up. My exercise which is my main contributor to self-care was not fulfilling all that was required. My body was giving me feedback on being physically tired, drained and focus was being lost. When a yoga retreat was mentioned to me by a friend, I asked a question of cost and when I heard how reasonable it was I immediately said yes. This was the added self-care component I was requiring.
Time out from my surroundings, from my ‘norm’, forced to really cocoon myself into me and be open minded to what yoga could offer. I have dabbled in yoga over the years, but have always been drawn to gym and pilates for the cardio burst of fitness and strengthening. I can now say that I was recharged, refuelled and have a new appreciation for yoga. I was physically challenged and more so mentally. There were moments during the 1.5hr yoga sessions (which there were 3 of over the retreat) that my mind was questioning ‘how long is there to go?’ ‘When will this finish?”. I heard myself, acknowledged the slight resistance to the yoga and responded with ‘I have nowhere else to be at this time’, and with a breath and refocus on the yoga pose the resistance to the session ending, ceased. I was able to be content with where I was and how I was feeling. The resistance was also to do with the physical challenge, it hurt at times and when I feel pain I tend to give up. As I went with the intent of being open minded I worked through the physical pain and used the power of the breath to get through (it also helped listening to the soothing voice of Elisa our teacher).
With little to no expectations of the weekend, except that it was time away, I was able to really be at all times. My mindfulness practice heightened as I was able to take moment by moment in and slow all senses, allowing that recharge to happen. So for me I had an unexpectant beginning, I wasn’t searching for anything yet I found. I wasn’t seeking clarity yet I received it. I was able to stay open minded to the weekend with no judgement, no expectations, and received teachings that I can now move on with in way of learning.
I do have my reality check on, and I know that life isn’t all yoga retreats, as I came home and unpacked my bags and started the chores of washing. Yet I had a smile on my face, knowing that I listened to myself that month or so ago and heard that the self-care element needed something more than my usual gym/pilates. I offered it the yoga retreat to which I have been taught, I have learnt and have therefore grown. I missed my family in that time, but I also know they have a better me, and that is because I refuelled, recharged and took charge of my self-care.
If you can take time to listen to yourself, that little voice that can sometimes be ignored and recognise when you need to introduce something more or different, please do so. It may be going to a yoga class, a walk, reading a book, sitting with a magazine, a night away….whatever it is that you can offer yourself go now and write it down or book it in. Your body and mind will thank you for it, but most of all you will thank yourself for it. Self-care isn’t about waiting on someone else to do something for you…it’s you doing something for you.
May you be well and happy.
Elisa Payne is from Om-Buddhi Yoga and offers weekly classes, workshops and retreats throughout the year.