I have a poster of the Ashtanga yoga primary series. I bought it in Costa Rica for $10, and have carried it with me to Nicaragua, Mozambique, and finally now to New Zealand. Everytime I look at it, it gives me a kind of energy. It reminds me of this activity that I enjoy, even though it often pushes me to my limits in terms of motivation, fear, energy and distraction.
But as much as I enjoy yoga, I don´t do it all that often.
Recently, after going through a period of intense change (leaving a job, moving back home with a new husband, job hunting again). I have let go of a lot of habits too, not just my old life.
The downside of that, is that in these moments of stress – of being stretched and pressured – not having some basic ways to soothe and care for ourselves leaves us feeling worse for wear.
So today, I pulled out my yoga poster. I decided to commit to doing just ten minutes of yoga. For me, the stretching and twisting feels like wringing out all of the stress and emotions that have accumulated.
Sometimes we get caught up in thinking that to be well, we must make huge efforts – to eat extremely healthy, always. Or that we need to go to the gym every day and lose 10kg.
But actually, it is about the small stuff. The tiny habits which help us feel loved by ourself and a little bit more well. It might be flossing your teeth once a day. Or drinking 2 litres of water everyday. Or commiting to eat a piece of fruit everyday. Or going to bed at the best time for us.
Or ten minutes of yoga. Or dance. Or music.
It doesn´t have to be something you absolutely love, but something that has an effect that you love. Something that makes you feel good.
Apparently February is the month of love. So do yourself a favour and start with you.
How could you love yourself a little more, in five minutes, each day?