Making time for yourself can be challenging, especially because doing things that make us feel good might appear selfish and excessive. Yoga is an excellent self-care strategy because it improves and promotes compassion, kindness, and love, which allows us to take care of our own needs. It can give you the awareness, reflection, and insight you need to figure out what your true needs are. A regular practice can also provide insight into how to satisfy these requirements in a creative and effective way.

According to a 2015 study, yoga participants reported “much improved self-care as well as reduced emotional weariness and depersonalization upon completion of an 8-week yoga intervention,” while the control group showed no change. After their yoga courses, the yoga group’s scores for self-care, mindfulness, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization all improved significantly.

Keeping a careful attention on the moment-to-moment sensation in the body against a backdrop of compassion softens the hard surface of our daily shell and allows us to touch something tender on the inside. Yoga may be the self-care and nurturing practice that teaches us how to befriend our body-heart-mind with so many demands on our lives and a constant push towards perfection.

Yoga can be used in a variety of ways to improve your mental, physical, spiritual, and social well-being. Yoga’s power for self-care is that it establishes a simple and long-term habit, promotes a complete and balanced approach to wellness, and increases our emotional resilience so that we can easily deal with stressful situations and avoid burnout.

Grounding Exercise

Yoga

Take a deep breath and bend down with back straight and swoop the ground and as we again stand, trace the Chi or energy into the front of our bodies through the meridians/energy channels. On exhalation we trace the meridian channels on the posterior aspect of our bodies as we bend down to gather more of the earth’s vital energy.

Grounding Posture

  • Knees slightly bent

  • Shoulder width apart

  • Shoulders slightly back

  • Chin slightly tucked

Our goal is to free any blocked energy channels for optimal flow of our body’s vital energy. Repeat this 7 times (7 being the number of wholeness, completeness).

Yoga Positions

Yoga3

Posterior Stretch

Stretches hamstrings. Increases range of motion and strength of spine.

Stretch for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Half Spinal Twist

Increases blood flow and peristalsis.

Stretch for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Half Spinal Twist

Repeat stretch by switching legs and looking over the opposite shoulder.

Stretch for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Cobra

While lying on our stomach, fully extend arms and lift chest and head off of the ground.

Increases range of motion and strengthens spine.

Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times

Locust

Arms at our sides, lift our thighs off of the ground.

Great for spinal health

Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times

Know more about the benefits of Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong.

Muscle Energy

Muscle Energy Techniques

  • Help build core muscles.
  • Strengthen lower backs.
  • Uses opposite muscles to balance and promote a proper structure-function relationship.
  • These techniques will be used to balance the pelvis Pelvis is key in establishing optimal spinal health

Muscle Energy 1

Resist upward motion of right knee with right hand

Feel the pull in the groin and hip

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times

Switch Legs

Resist upward motion of left knee with left hand

Feel the pull in the groin and hip

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times

Muscle Energy 2

Bring knees near chest. Forearms on the outside of knees

Resist outward motion of legs with forearms

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times.

Muscle Energy 3

Keep knees near chest. Forearms on the inside of knees.

Resist inward motion of legs with fore arms.

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times

Muscle Energy 4

While lying on our back, bring knees into chest and resist outward motion of our knees.

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times.

Muscle Energy 5

While lying on our back, bring each knee individually into chest and resist outward motion of that knee.

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times each leg.

Muscle Energy 6

While lying on our side, bring the left knee to a 90° bend, resist upward motion of the left knee with the left hand.

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times each leg.

Planking

Front Plank

Rest on our elbows and toes while keeping our body as straight as possible

Building the muscles of the forearms, shoulders, chest, and core.

Hold for 30 seconds initially (increase this hold over time)

Right Lateral Plank

Balance on our right forearm with our right foot resting over our left foot, lift ourselves up, and keep our body as straight as possible.

Hold for 30 seconds initially (increase this hold over time)

Left Lateral Plank

Balance on our left forearm with our left foot resting over our right foot, lift ourselves up, and keep our body as straight as possible.

Hold for 30 seconds initially (increase this hold over time)

Push-Ups

Do as many as you can and attempt to increase your number over time!