New Year, Here’s To Loving You

What if this year your New Years Resolution was not a number on the scale or how many miles you are going to run, or any goal with a number in it? What if this year were dedicated simply to loving you more? Taking care of you, nurturing you. A year dedicated to self-care. That’s it, simply being good to you, whatever that means for you. Sounds too good to be true?

So what does self-care mean to you? Perhaps it’s dedicating time for your Yoga practice, or meditation, journaling, a bubble bath, a walk, or a ski? Maybe planting things that grow bring you joy, or learning to sail, or building a wood strip canoe.  Making sure there is some “play money” available so you can attend a few of your favorite social outings: theater, concerts, dinner out, or a movie. Or set aside some time and join a book club, Bunco group, birthday club, etc. I don’t know what brings your heart JOY. Only you can answer that questions, in doing so, you will find that “guru” (aka teacher) within yourself.

Saying no. Sometimes creating space for things we do want in our lives, like that nice meal out at our favorite restaurant once in a while or travel bucks or time for the people who bring us love and nurturing & joy; adding to our self-care, we have to say ‘No’ along the way. From time spent in certain places and with certain people, to budgeting for the things that really matter to us. Filling your life how you want it is not selfish, it’s called living your life how you want to live it. I call that honoring your True Self. Bramacharya, or the right use of energy.

Now how you are going to fuel your body in a nurturing manner? There are tons of ways to “eat clean”. Recipes are abundant on ‘Pinterest’, follow my boards for inspiration. Join a cooking club, buy some cookbooks. I’ve found Whole 30 and Paleo to work great for my body’s needs, but we’re all constructed differently and have different needs, tastes, preferences, etc. Choose something that works for you, and remember this journey is about nurturing you, not what your kids want. Most likely an adult body will not respond well to mac ‘n cheese. If you do not require your kids to eat what you make, it may be necessary to cook for yourself separately. Again, self-care, it’s ok to take time to prepare yourself a meal that nurtures you. I started out in this fashion, making 2 dinners. One for the adults, another for the kids, but found myself growing tired of all the cooking and dishes. I also decided adding some diversity to my kids’ palates is good for them, so we occasionally have some contentious conversations regarding eating our vegetables. I think this is pretty commonplace as I remember it well as a child. I think you just keep at it, and eventually they become less picky. My 8-year-old is coming around, the 5-year-old is still a work in progress. Rome was not built in a day.

When you are cared for inside and out, your basic needs are met. This allows you to move beyond basic survival and evolve into the creative, intelligent, capable being that you are.  I call this effect “filling your cup” when our cup is full, our physiological needs are met and we can move beyond basic needs and onto to Self-transcendence. This is where we find actualization in giving to some higher goal outside oneself, in altruism and spirituality. This completely ties to Patanjali’s 8 limbed path and our ultimate goal as Yogi’s, which is Samadhi, or enlightenment. 

So this year, if it brings me JOY & I feel Self LOVE from the activity, food, expenditure, then I’m going for it. (Within reason of course, I’m also keeping that Yama called ‘Satya’ or ‘Truth’ in perspective. 😉 How about you?

2017=It’s about LOVING YOU!

Wishing you so much BLISS + LIGHT + WARMTH as you ring in the New Year, it blows your slipper socks off! Peace, LOVE & Namaste Yogis,

~Julie

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Outer Observances for inner work

I keep asking myself lately, ‘Why does Yoga has such staying power’? It is in fact a 5,000 year old tradition. How is that even possible?

I think it comes down to Yoga being an 8 limbed path and only one of those being physical asana.

The 8 Limbs of Yoga:

  1. Niyama – Observances – reverence for your home

    • Purity: Sauce
    • Contentment: Santosa
    • Austerity: Tapas heat
    • Study of the sacred text and one’s self: Svadhyaya
  2. Yama – Restraints – clean your home

    • Non-violence: Ahimsa
    • Truth and Honesty: Satya
    • Non-Stealing: Asteya
    • Non-lust: Brahmacharya
    • Non-possessiveness: Aparigraha
    • Live with and awareness of the Divine: Isvara pranidhana
  3. Asana – the physical postures we practice in a typical Yoga “class” (i.e. downward facing dog, cat, cow, tree, you get the idea)

  4. Pranayama – breathing techniques

  5. Pratyahara

  6. Dharana – Consciousness Arising – like pouring water

  7. Dhyana – Consciousness Arising – like pouring honey

  8. Samadhi – Oneness – Home is everywhere, everything, everyone

After 21 years of Yoga practice, I know I have merely scraped the surface of this spiritual practice. I hope you will find more to Yoga than the downward dog, however if this is the asana that brings you into Samadhi, who am I to judge? Here’s to finding depth your practice and the ancient teachings as they were meant to be passed on in story telling tradition. Five thousand years of history, that is quite impressive. I believe my mom’s thigh master of the 1980’s ended up at a garage sale circa 1990, food for thought. Peace, love, namaste peaceful warriors.