I’m attracted to Yoga for many reasons – the way it makes me feel, finding the balance of relaxing my mind while pushing my body, and the calm peacefulness that quiets my mind and guides my actions for the hours following one single session. I’ve been doing yoga for nearly a decade. While pregnant, I continued my yoga practice in modified poses, getting more and more modified as the months ticked away. Even after my daughter was born, we did Mommy and Me yoga, pausing during the 60-minutes to breastfeed and comfort my newborn.
When my daughter went from cooing to crawling – my yoga practice (and my life for that matter) took on an entirely new look. It was less about holding poses and creating peacefulness and more about running after her while honing Bruce Lee-like reflexes needed to protect her from the daily threats, such as almonds on the floor, decks without railings, and any person with a sniffle, sure in infest her with incurable diseases. By the time she was walking, I had given up my yoga practice all together. And to be clear, I was a hot mess!
Motherhood has taught me many crucial lessons, this being one of them: If I don’t carve out time and resources to refill my soul and nourish my body – I have nothing to give. Don’t get me wrong, I receive endless love and joy from my daughter, but this is not the same as taking time for ME – Just me. Creating time to release, to refill, and to rejoice. This, of course, is a human lesson – not just a Mama lesson. This is a truism of human existence – We must take time for self-nourishment.
After several very clarifying moments in the past year, I made a commitment to myself to start my yoga practice again. My debt to income ratio when if came to self-nourishment was pretty dismal. My energy was low. Negative thoughts started taking up more and more of my inner dialog. I felt faraway – unable to be present. Even when I did make time to journal or craft, things that also nourish my soul, I didn’t feel creative or even present enough to fully engage at a helpful level.
There was this weird paradox of feeling like taking time for myself was taking away from my child. That to give to me was to take from her. But of course, this is absurd. When I love myself, honor myself and care for myself – my mommy cup runith over with patience, creativity, and energy. This is true in any area of our lives, not just as a parent, but as a human. When I value myself and tend to my needs – I’m a better business owner, better partner, neighbor, daughter, sister, etc.
In yoga, the word ojas (pronounced oh-jus), refers to the body’s internal energy reserves. Like beeswax in a candle, ojas sustains our physical flame and mental energy. It feeds our drive and passion. When we nourish ourselves and replenish regularly, ojas manifests in good physical health and positive, calm emotions such as gratitude and contentment. When our internal energy reserves are high we are better able to handle stress with grace and ease, allowing us to respond to situations rather than react in a way that misaligns with our values (Latona, 2014).
The belief is that ojas reserves decrease, like a bank account balance, with each withdraw me make. These debits consist of excess stress, overstimulation, worry, rushing, and lack of sleep. And like a bank account balance, ojas builds with deposits of quiet, calming practices – daily moments that allow our bodies and minds to settle down and process our experiences.
So, how’s your ojas bank account balance? If you’re like me, you’ve been in the red for a while.
Self-nourishment is an easy thing to set aside – saved up for someday. Someday, I’ll start journaling, painting, yoga, meditation, blogging, crafting, walking, deep breathing, etc. Someday…. But each day, we belly-up to the ojas ATM and withdraw – perhaps a little, perhaps a huge lump sum – but we take, and take, and take. And we feel the affects of this. We are exhausted, sick, numb, too busy, too tired, and too overwhelmed – Empty.
If you’re willing – take a 30-day self-nourishing challenge. Beginning September 15th, Evolutionary Consulting will dedicate 30-days to self-nourishment. Follow us on facebook for daily inspirations, ideas, and how we are working through the challenges we face. Let’s support each other and ourselves. Commit to daily deposits and share your journey with us. #SelfNourishment30dayChallenge
Here are few questions to consider to get you started.
- When you’ve felt most peaceful and at ease – what’s present in your life?
- What are three things you can do to make daily deposits to your ojas account?
- What needs to be eliminated to reduce the amount of withdraws?
- What is one small thing you can do to get started today?
- How will you know you are out of the red? What will be different?
- Who/What would be a helpful resource for you during this process?
- If you decide to not make this change in your life, what do you imagine your life will be like a year from now?
- What will be your greatest challenge? How can you prepare for this?
Feeling motivated? Me too! Tell a friend, follow us on facebook, and let’s refill!
The challenge begins September 15th!
Tiffany is a Certified Professional Life Coach and Consultant with Evolutionary Consulting
Latona, V. (2014, October 10). Foster Your Inner Glow With Ayurveda. Retrieved from Yoga Jouranal: http://www.yogajournal.com/article/ayurveda/find-inner-glow-ayurveda/