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Slowing Down in the Name of Self-Care

La Vida Yoga blog

Slowing Down in the Name of Self-Care

karla rodas

We're in a constant frenzied state, hustling and moving about our business, rushing from one thing to the next. I find my anxiety building if I have too many balls up in the air at once. When I have a single pointed focus and am mindful in what I'm doing, I feel much more at ease. For example, I want to sit and write this blog post in peace, taking my time to cultivate the message that I want to come across. If I'm distracted by everything else like social media, my to-do list, my experience will not be as fruitful. 

Slowing down for me is self-care. I choose not to juggle a million things at once. Is this a privilege or a luxury? Maybe, for some, it may seem like it. There may not seem to be an option to slow down sometimes. But, just like anything else, it's a conscious decision. I become depleted and overloaded if I stretch myself in all different directions all at the same time. Been there and experienced that. What I've learned is that when I'm overwhelmed, I refer back to the old patterns, of becoming reactive and frustrated with myself and others. There's no room for love and compassion in that scenario. 

As a yoga teacher, working to spread the light of yoga into this world, my daily schedule varies. I am constantly working on building meaningful connections, creating ways to help others discover how yoga can heal and transform, while still maintaining a work/life balance. Teaching public and private yoga classes and always brainstorming ways to creatively offer yoga is my day to day hustle. It's fun and challenging because a large part of my energy is devoted to connecting with others.

But, in order to be of service, I have to unplug from others and the constant stimuli. If you've been to my yoga classes, there are a couple of heartfelt messages that I share about this. Especially during savasana, I encourage students to get still and allow themselves to receive-recharge your own batteries in order to serve others. At the end of the practice, I share this message. Acknowledge yourself for practicing self-care and self-love. Continue to share this love, compassion, patience with others around you. 

 I feel most balanced and recharged when I've practiced self-care. Slowing down is a must for me to be able to offer the most of myself. 

These are the top ways that I slow down and recharge: 

1. *I turn to a restorative, slow-paced yoga practice. I let it be organic and just flow easily. I give myself as much or as little time as it takes. Obviously, if I have a class to teach later on in the day, then I plan it out a little. I don't try to squeeze it in and rush through it right before I have to leave. *

2. Giving myself enough time for each task is key for me to take my time and it avoids creating anxiety. When I feel rushed, I get worked up and panicky and feel like out of control. No bueno. 

3. Writing is cathartic and so necessary. It's a mindfulness practice for me. I love to share through writing but sometimes I need to let things out and journal. This is just for me. It's a way to sort through my feelings and emotions. 

4. Reading has always been my go-to. I love it so much. A good book is a companion, a friend, an adventure and always inspiring. 

5. There's a trend here, a common thread on what I use to recharge. Most of these practices are done alone. I do find that spending time alone in a quiet place really soothes my soul and unruffles my feathers. I need peace and quiet to just be. 

6. I do love my peeps though and sharing a moment with them is precious to me. I continue to learn how to let go of the expectations of what those moments should look like. My husband loves his sports so sometimes it's watching a game together. My boys have different interests and things that they're into. They're young men now, so I have to appreciate the time that we do have together. It could be a meal that we share before one of them is off to work or school. I'm happy knowing that we are healthy and blessed to be able to be together.

Here's to slowing down and practicing self-care. What are your practices for slowing down and recharging your batteries? Share it. You may just be the inspiration for someone to take better care of themselves.  

**Separate blog post on how to enrich your yoga practice by slowing it down.