Self care has become a new catchphrase encompassing everything from green smoothies to pedicures. It has become so ubiquitous that its actual meaning has been watered down to in fact, mean nothing at all. And yet it is probably the single most important factor to becoming a great yoga teacher and staying committed to the path.
Self care is noticing what you are feeling in the moment, choosing the tool, resource or practice that is appropriate for the situation and that in some way allows you to come back to yourself. Yoga is all about self-study and I believe that this is really the crux behind the self-care movement. As we get to know ourselves and the origins of some of our choices we become more and more who we are meant to be. Personally, I want to learn from a teacher who is actually doing the work of self study and committing to practice on a regular basis.
Self care is not always about "doing what feels good." Another ubiquitous cue heard in yoga classes, but that's another story for another newsletter. If I chose to always do what felt good then 90% of the time I would choose to eat a giant bowl of pasta while watching all six seasons of Sex and the City. Self care is challenging the status quo of our preconceived notions and repetitious narratives that are often ego driven and can often get in the way of our inner process of unfolding. And honestly that is pretty damn challenging, to say the least.
Self care for yoga teachers isn't always about what you do outside of class, but how you take care of and protect your energy when engaging with other human beings. You need to take care of yourself so as not to lose yourself in the process of sharing your gifts!