Be Kind to Yourself

I think it’s fair to say most people strive to live a balanced life. For me, a balanced life means living in harmony and giving of myself equally to my husband, my family and friends, my profession, my dog, my home, and myself. While doing this, I try to have fun and bring love and compassion to each situation. I like to think I do a pretty good job at this however the reality is I struggle. It is difficult to have all areas simultaneously living in a balanced state of harmony. Sadly, I find that taking care of my body’s needs is one of areas that falls short.

For the most part, I am quite healthy. I live an active lifestyle, eat well, take the right vitamins, and am emotionally sound. I love living a life of wellness. Over the last two years, my personal mantra has been “Be Kind To Yourself” with reminders of this in my bedroom, on a “sticky-note” on my computer, and on my phone. This daily reminder has helped dispel most negative thoughts and self-talk, but what I have not been doing is “being kind” to the needs of my body. I don’t think I have been attuned to what my body has been telling me.

Since the school year has begun, my focus has been primarily a professional one, which is a good thing, but at what cost? I have been trying to stay active and live a fun life outside of my job-which I have been doing- but I have not allowed myself to just stop, breathe, lay down and “just be”, until a few nights ago. This was something my body has been telling me, however I was ignoring this request. Instead, I have been increasingly fatigued and even felt under the weather the other day. Once, I forced myself to lie on the couch, my body started to heal. After a couple hours of being a “couch potato” I actually felt more energized, which was a refreshing comparison to how exhausted I have felt lately.

Thinking back over the last month I believe during my body was telling me it is not in balance especially during my yoga practice. I struggled with poses that I previously enjoyed like proud warrior or pigeon; I assumed I was tight from not stretching after runs. Balancing poses, which are my favorite, did not come as easily for me. Which I shrugged off as being tired at that moment, but looking back, maybe that was a sign of being imbalanced. However, every time I have practiced yoga in a class with the Sangha Space family my body felt rejuvenated and I had renewed energy.

It is wonderful to have yoga help me create a body and soul connection, however it is essential to actually listen and be mindful of what that body and soul is telling you. It is not enough to go onto a mat, do the poses, and try to reap the benefits of yoga. It is important to be mindful of everything that is going on around us, in us, and on the mat as well. I was not truly “Being Kind To Myself”, therefore I was living in a state of imbalance, and I believe my yoga practice was trying to tell me that. Hmmm…as I am typing, a beautiful song from the album “Living in Harmony” just came on my” Yoga Radio” station on Pandora-is that the universe agreeing with me?

With this new awareness, I promise to try to make my body’s needs as equally as important to the other needs in my life. I will be kind and listen to what my body is telling me. When I am tired, I will rest, and when I am imbalanced I will figure out how to bring a state of harmony back into my life. This is a hard task to do, but it is necessary to achieve. My desire is to live a balanced life with kindness to myself and to others; I am fortunate that I have the practice of yoga to aid me on this path.

“The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.”~ Anonymous

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