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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

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

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

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.

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

Stretch for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Cobra

Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times

Locust

Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times

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Muscle Energy

Muscle Energy Techniques
Muscle Energy 1

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times

Switch Legs

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times

Muscle Energy 2

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times.

Muscle Energy 3

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times

Muscle Energy 4

Resist 3 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times.

Muscle Energy 5

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

Muscle Energy 6

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

Planking

Front Plank

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

Right Lateral Plank

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

Left Lateral Plank

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!

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