Monday, October 10, 2005

“To love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” – Oscar Wilde

As the Wilde quote signifies, the relationship you have with yourself (how you feel about and treat yourself) is a VERY important relationship. Actually, this is the only relationship in life that is 100% guaranteed. You are sure to wake up and go to bed with yourself every day. We all know the importance of taking care of ourselves, but is this inner-reflective love story celebrated with regular practice?

During airplane departures, emphasis is placed on putting on your own life mask before a dependent’s. This theory translates into modern life. In order to be fully fabulous, you must be full, not running on “E.” The active yoga-lover can get caught on the hamster wheel with the best of them, but it is important to realize when it is time to leap off, reassess, and spend some time recharging. With the crisp air hovering and nature's shift to stillness, this is the perfect time to add some self-nurturing into your own life.

Build a solid relationship with you. Get back in touch with the unadulterated delights that you crave. Implement small changes into your routine that guarantee you some time to spend savoring the abundance of simple pleasures that surround you. Life is full of hidden treasures. Below are some simple tips to translate self-nurturing into reality.

Off the mat self-nurturing tips:
• Indulge in weekly solo creative excursions. Ex., visits to museums, wineries, 5 and dimes, city parks, bookstores.
• Spend $5 a week on a “luxury.” Ex., lavender scented bath bombs (LUSH bombs are highly recommended), drugstore hot oil hair treatments, scented colored pencils, colorful notecards.
• Practice the 3-part yogic breath at the office, while stuck in traffic, and during your luxurious evening home alone reading.

On the mat self-nurturing tip:
One of my favorite self-nurturing poses is legs up the wall (described in yesterday's podcast). This pose is a sure-fire way to restore and renew after a challenging day, jet lag exhaustion, or the simple everyday need to quiet the mind. Find adequate wall and floor space so that you can lie on your back and extend your legs up onto the wall (or use a chair as a substitute). Getting your hips up to the wall is the trickiest part. If your hamstrings are tight, pull your hips away from the wall a few inches so that they are more at an angle than straight up the wall. Once the legs are up and comfortable, you can take two of my favorite variations – 1) open the legs to a wide V, 2) bend the knees and place the soles of the feet together. Both variations help open the hips, awaken the inner thighs, and alleviate discomfort due to tight hamstrings. Enjoy!

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