Well there are a few ways to approach this kind of situation.
One approach: don’t listen to your “feelings”.
Many spiritual teachers have said to me, yeah you don’t always feel like sitting on the cushion or getting on your yoga mat, but a practice is a practice. Therefore no matter how you feel, continue to do your ritual no matter what.
5 am sit. Asana every day. Etc…
Watch what arises in the midst of the aversion and resistance.
Another possibility is what I call the
Buffet of Self Care.
I find it a gentler way to be with yourself in the ever changing needs of modern day living, (travel for work (or play), kids get sick, unpredictable hours at the office, holidays, etc…) while still staying committed and dedicated to your self-care, spiritual practice.
Now when we look at a food buffet there are many options for appetizers, main courses and desserts. Therefore our self care practices need to have multiple options. That way you CAN bring your physical and emotional feelings into the equation, as well as your plans and needs regarding work, personal and/or family life. Without leaving out your spiritual commitments. We don’t want to leave any part of you behind. We must be aware of the whole you.
Below are some elements to put on your buffet of self care plan, especially during the holidays…..
1. Time of day you exercise, meditate or do yoga.
I love rhythm. My intention is to meditate first thing in the morning, 6:00am, before my daughter wakes up. And right after I drop her off at school I like to do yoga or hike. It’s a great way to start my day before I get into “business”. But let’s get real, the timing does not always work out that way. So I have to practice flexibility, not just on the yoga mat. And I encourage you to do the same. If I miss my morning meditation or movement I immediately think OK where can I fit it in some place else in my day. Then I make the adjustments in my day. And sometimes I have to let it go completely but that doesn’t waiver the commitment. The take away: practice flexibility.
2. Be willing to do less
We all have our favorite yoga or exercise class that gives us the ultimate physical and mental workout but sometimes we just have to let that go and do what we can. Take a simple walk. Throw the running shoes in your bag or car and go on a run at lunch. Only have 20 minutes? No problem just move your body somehow. The take away: Be willing to do something, even if its “less” than you think you want to do.
3. Move your energy
You might think move your energy has to be a cardio thing.
I’m in favor of that but perhaps there is another way. How about a dry scrub or a hot towel scrub?
Look sometimes you are sick, tired, worn down and you want to move energy but you just can not think of sweating or jumping around. Get out your loofah. Scrub your body from head to toe moving towards the heart. This will stimulate circulation. Another option is the wet version. Warm a washcloth as hot as your body can stand and again scrub your body. You will feel a change of energy, circulation will flow and it will lift your spirits as well. The take away: Think outside the box when it comes to moving energy.
Doing things helps us feel productive and on task. But NON doing- or rather pausing can bring in a wealth of rejuvenation. A wonderful item on your buffet of self care.
When I read Stephen Cope’s book: Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, there was one part that stood out the most. The year his yoga practice consisted of savasana. Yup that’s right. Every day he would get on his mat to practice and he would just lay there. He just didn’t have it in him to do any other asana. That story has given me such inspiration. It has helped me tame my inner critic. It has supported me to realize that there is no right way to do any of this spiritual practices. The take away: It’s all about listening deeply to whats inside and nourishing ourselves with our inner teacher.
This month, especially as you are tempted by food buffets at holiday parties, gathering and many celebrations I encourage you to use your buffet of self care.
I also hope you use this buffet all year long. Because after nearly 20 years of working with yoga students and clients I have seen this approach is the one that keeps my students in the game of health for the longevity of their lives.
If you have other ideas please post them below.
Use the yoga tree sangha and me, Darshana Weill as a support to you during this holiday season.
In health and service~
Darshana Weill, Somatic/ Spiritual Counselor and Yoga Teacher has counseled over 900 women world wide to learn to feed their souls and nourish their bodies through individual sessions, group work, tele-classes, webinars and home-study programs. A guest teacher at the 2011 Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco you can also find Darshana teaching LIVE between Sonoma and Santa Cruz CA or via tele-classes and webinars.
For a free copy of Darshana’s EBook 5 Keys to End Unwanted Cravings and Find Food Freedom or to find out more about Darshana’s FOOD FREEDOM Programs check out www.darshanaweill.com or www.findfoodfreedom.com
To contact Darshana directly call 415 637 7222 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
WORKSHOPS WITH DARSHANA AT YOGA TREE
Treat PMS Naturally through Yoga and Mindful Eating
The Yoga of Food: How is life feeding you?
Sugar can be Medicine,
Yoga and Food For Emotional Eating,
Health Moms, Healthy Families,
Kick Cravings; A 21 Days program for women who want to take back their power over food.