An article written for the Hornby Island First Edition monthly paper.

Yoga and Self Care are one in the same and encompass awareness. In Yoga, the body is considered as ‘living fiction’, a story unfolding from birth through death, following a narrative with a beginning and an end. Yoga understands the body as a somatic, living, breathing organism subject to change, transformation and healing while being a reflection of the mind’s habits and ability to be both connected and disconnected from it. I watch and listen to body language as faithfully as I might listen to the spinning of a told story. The body never, ever lies but always has something to say of truth by way of its expressions in any given situation. The adventure of the yogi is in listening to the body with a neutral and curious mind and responding with heart and intelligence, rather than being confined to conditioned thoughts and actions that don’t ultimately serve. This is self-care as I have come to understand it.

Befriending the body and mind is like a marriage and is truly an ultimate reward of stepping into the stream of Yoga. I hear people say that, in all limitation, the body betrays trust, hope and ease, which seem to become solid grounds for divorce. In the Yoga, through proven and often simple practices the experience hones in on deepening the relationship to whatever appears in the body by following the breath and listening to all manner of messages through felt sensations that are revealed. This faithfully conveys the wisdom needed to turn to explicit self-care in any blissful or uncomfortable situation. It is human habit and folly to vacate the body and it is skillful work to inhabit it. Self-care is taking up home in the body and is the bridge to wellness. It’s a personal, subjective and internal thing, far too complex and individual to be judged. Through Yoga we will often discover just what we need to thrive and time honoured practices enhance and shine a light on this.

Living in harmony with the seasons, deeply relaxing held tension, lengthening the limbs, softening muscles, restoring balance, nourishing the cells through intentional breathing, being at one with nature and all life forms, meditation, and tapping into self-love and regard are Yogic practices for optimum wellness at any age, stage or condition of life. This normally calls for stillness, stepping outside of the busyness of life, and simply taking time out to retreat. Women’s Self Care Retreats at SUN DOOR offer this seasonally four times a year and you are invited to attend or send along a cherished woman friend to participate. The next women’s retreat is March 23-25/18. Please visit the website for more information and to see the many other retreats that are scheduled through until October.

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