By Jenn Falk
Self-care is typically defined as a way to relax and nourish oneself and to care for one’s general health.
When you go behind that veil, you discover that self-care is about more than sleep, tea breaks, relaxing baths, and a longer savasana.
It’s about getting to know oneself.
When we listen in on a regular basis, it becomes more apparent when something is or isn’t working in our lives.
As teachers (of any kind), we need to really feel into and assess our teaching schedules, how we teach, our own movement practices, our vitality, and how our bodies are holding up – physically and emotionally.
In a way, self-care is a journey. And it’s quite a task to maintain your personal practice of self-care when part of your job as a teacher is to help other people learn it too.
For me, the biggest piece of self-care revolves around gentleness in our self-discovery. It doesn’t mean constant restoratives. It means self-acceptance for who you are and what you need to thrive. It means asking for support and creating the support system needed.
Perhaps it means creating a support system from scratch, or tapping into a community that already exists within the studios or places you teach. It might also mean allowing yourself to say no more – to both teaching gigs and social activity – in order to better care for oneself. Each of us has our own unique situation to manage. Some of us have families to tend for and work around. Others are in the hustle teaching full-time, owning a studio, or working another job in addition to teaching. Some of us can financially afford to carve out more time for traditional self-care practices, while others of us have to get more creative. The more we stick with the practice, the more we will notice the shifts and the lessons in self-care along the way.
As movement teachers and mindfulness leaders in our community, it pays to check in on our state of being so that we can be examples for others. Making mistakes and owning up to those mistakes is also a part of it. Self-care is having the awareness to see it all, to adjust when necessary, and to discover what our life as a whole is.
When we learn to be gentle to ourselves as we figure things out, we are better prepared to stay true to ourselves and allow the practice of self-care to take priority. To discover how vulnerability can, at times, benefit everyone in this journey of learning to care within.
It’s about trusting ourselves more, loving ourselves more, and learning to care for ourselves in the same way that we care for others.
Self-Care practices to consider:
-Nutritious diet of mostly real, whole foods
-Regular movement practice
-Restorative yoga practice
-Plant medicines and herbalism
-Personal, spirit-infused rituals
-Meditation, breath work, or other mindfulness practices
-Nourishing your relationships
-Vacations and personal retreats
-Journaling and self-reflection
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