Do you have 55 minutes to set aside for yourself sometime today or over the weekend? If so, sit back, relax, and allow me to serenade and guide you through the deeply restorative practice of Yoga Nidra. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this blog to listen freely, or read through some tips first to prepare for your mini self-care retreat!
"Self care is possibly the single greatest contribution we could make to the world." — Jonathan Foust
Self-care tip # 1. Create a space in your home. Set up a safe and comfortable place that is relatively free from noise or outside distraction. Gather a couple blankets, two pillows (one for behind your head and another perhaps bigger, denser one for under your knees), and an eye pillow. (BC Essentials downtown Newburyport has some really nice lavender-scented plush eye pillows.)
Self-care tip #2. Make yourself a warm cup of tea. Check in with how your body is feeling. If you feel stimulated, try a calming or soothing type such as lavender, chamomile or rose (I love Yogi Tea's Honey Lavender Stress Relief and the Herbal Path's loose-leaf organic teas out of Portsmouth and Dover, NH). If you feel lethargic and out-of-body, try a more sense-heightening type such as mint, echinacea or green tea. Take a few sips at least ten minutes prior to lying down. While you are sipping, you may choose to look outside the window or take a walk in nature. While you do, you may notice and appreciate the gentle sway of the breeze through the trees, the sound of rain pattering against the window pane, or the feeling of the cup warming your hands.
Self-care tip # 3. Gently move your body. Luckily there are plenty of online yoga classes these days. I have a catalog of my own 45-60 minute practice videos which you can access here. Simply choose a title/ style that most resonates for you, download and practice whenever you like! If you're short on time, you might try moving the spine in its six directions by twisting left and right, side-stretching, and flowing through cat and cow.
Self-care tip # 4. Light a candle or burn incense. This has always been my favorite way to clear my head and prepare for a ceremony of any kind, be it meditation, a moon circle or journaling exercise. The element of fire is unique in that it rises. In India lighting a flame is a way to contact the gods, who exist in the higher realms. It is also a way to ignite our inner fire and recognize the godliness within ourselves. If you have Yankee Candle or anything cheap and perfume-y like that at home, throw them away immediately. Pick up a local, handmade, soy, beeswax or coconut-based candle that is free from harmful and carcinogenic toxins. Among my favorites are Grapefruit and Fir from Farm and Sea and Jimbo's Surf Wax, available at Cinnamon Rainbows in Hampton, NH. My favorite place to pick up non-toxic incense and sage is the Herbal Path in Portsmouth, NH.
Self-care tip # 5. (Bonus!) Create a true spa-experience for yourself. Go ahead, I won't tell! I love my homemade face masks, which typically consist of oatmeal, yogurt or milk, honey and cinnamon. You might try to concoct one of your own from the simple ingredients in your cupboard or fridge. If you prefer a pre-made mask (guys, too!) you can visit Plum Island Soap Company on Plum Island, MA and pick up their delectable handmade mud mask. Picking up some local flowers and applying essential oils is also a great way to embrace beauty in your life, especially during Libra season (now through October 22). You will hear me talk more about Libra in the audio recording below, but in a nutshell, the sun and moon are currently together in the sign of Libra, the scales, creating the new moon phase. Libra is ruled by Venus, the goddess Aphrodite in Greek mythology, and reflects in us the need for pleasure, the arts and harmony in our lives. My favorite place to retrieve local flowers is High Road Farm in Newbury, MA. They do local delivery and pickups, and you can use the code RTWYOGA for 10% off your first purchase in their online market!
Now, sit back, relax... and prepare to indulge. All you need to do is follow the sound of my voice...
This video is offered freely. If you enjoyed the practice, please consider making a donation via mailed check to Ride the Wave Yoga, 12 Maple Street, Newburyport, MA or via Venmo.
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