Designing Powerful Pathways Towards Yoga and Self-Care
I shared a little about the Blausee Yoga and Self-Care Retreat on social media recently. It was a privilege to host this last yoga retreat in 2020.
There was uncertainty around whether it could take place, but taking into account the latest regulations, encouraging self-isolation and social distancing in the days leading up to the first day plus having the opportunity and space to offer a retreat at this challenging time of year was very special. A beautiful, diverse group of women came together.
On our last morning after a two-hour practice and over a leisurely brunch, I asked the group if they’d like to share anything that had changed for them in terms of how they approach yoga and self-care practices.
I loved that there wasn’t a cookie cutter answer, each person individual in their approach based on their needs, wishes and personal practice. Some were interested in maintaining what was already working, others considered prioritising more time for practices they enjoyed but had let go, a few wanted to kick-start a new approach towards meditation, breath work, yoga practice and self-care.
However, the discussion turned towards how best to keep themselves accountable and this was interesting as there were many different views. I suggested writing the practice time into a calendar, knowing from personal past experience that this could have more impact than simply committing verbally or in your mind.
While this approach appealed to some, it also triggered a risk of over-committing for others, a sense of guilt around missing a practice or fear of failure.
Your unique approach to accountability
If we can shift our focus away from what we feel we ‘should’ do and what looks good on paper (or a calendar) and begin by offering and showing ourselves a new level of kindness, a level of grace that allows us to ask ourselves:
- What lights me up?
- What makes my body feel good?
- What makes my soul feel good?
- What brings me joy?
We have the capacity to change our mindset. And finding small, manageable, effective steps towards sustainable self-care.
You don’t have to get better at one thing, There are multiple areas that you can explore and practise with awareness and intention.
Creating a Self-Care Checklist
I’m sharing with you a modified, simple but effective exercise that was first introduced to me by Dr. Cindi-Lou Golin, a faculty member and coach in the Integral Facilitator Certificate Program in Budapest. Click here to download.
- Begin by setting your intention for self-care practices.
- Refer back to the questions above. Reflect on what is unique to you.
What do you need to hone and finely tune that will benefit your daily life.
For example, a practice could be: ‘I want to remind myself to be more present.’
- Write down 1-4 realistic and manageable practices under the categories that appeal to you. Note how many times a week or month you’d like to practise them.
- You can change the categories to include anything that will enhance your life. For example, play or communication.
How to Use a Self-Care Checklist
Place the paper by your bed. At the end of the day, simply tick what you managed to accomplish that day. A tick feels good and just takes a moment. There is no judgement if you missed a practice. You’ll find that it’s simply a gentle reminder and you’ll begin to hone your awareness of self-care.
You can adapt or build on these practices over time. Keep it simple, short and streamlined.
Let me know how this goes. What is supporting you right now? What surprises you?
Stay true to who you are and your values.