As a mother, a wife, a student, a teacher, a daughter, a friend, and an entrepreneur I often find myself feeling stretched thin on an energetic level. This can easily translate to frustration, feeling exhausted both physically and mentally, not good enough, not enough....
Recently I shared a few words from my teacher's, teacher. It touched on the idea of "filling your own cup". This is something I speak about often in my classes, but it's also something that I feel is worth revisiting over and over. It is something that is so easily and so often overlooked. If the words or concept don't resonate with you try thinking about it in terms of your car; you fill the tank with fuel, and this is what the car runs on. If you allow the fuel to run out then the car cannot run. Our bodies are much the same, if we do not keep fuel in the tank we cannot run well.
For many, this time of year leaves you feeling even more depleted. This is where a daily practice comes in.
Now when people hear those words, "daily practice" they tend to immediately dismiss the idea as a practical one. Some thoughts that occur are; "I don't have time to add one more thing to my to do list", "I don't know enough to have a daily/home practice", or "I just can't seem to do it and stick to it." When I first started to practice yoga I remember thinking these same thoughts. People also tend to think that they need to dedicate a significant amount of time to having a practice, as if they need to do a full hour of asana every day in order to "have a personal practice". I am here to say, no you do not!
A simple, daily practice can be the solution to "filling your cup" or your tank. With that being said, here are a few suggestions to establishing your own practice.
Start small, pick something simple to add to your daily routine. Stick with it, do that something every day. Set the first goal for a week, then maybe 2, then 3, until you've done it for 40 days. (If you miss a day don't berate yourself for it, start again.)
A few idea's of where to start:
-Do 10 rounds of Alternate Nostril Breathing. (Using an even, steady breath)
-Sit in physical stillness for 5 minutes and notice your breath. (Preferably in a quiet space if you can get one, if not its ok)
-Take 10, mindful, and slow rounds of a diaphragmatic breath. (Breathing into the belly, at least 4 slow counts in and 4 slow counts out, with
a smooth transition between)
Before you begin, take note of a few things. Like, how have you been feeling? Areas to notice; energetically, physically, and mentally. Maybe even write it down somewhere. Then, after the first week take notice again, and again at week 2 and so on. See for yourself what kind result this small change has.
Another way to fill your cup is SELF CARE! This is a big one for sure. Be sure that you are giving yourself permission and taking the time to care for yourself. This ties into how we feel in a big way. Taking care of yourself includes being mindful of what you put into your body, making sure that you're nourishing yourself. It includes getting an adequate amount of sleep (there are practice tools to help if you struggle in this area), and it includes making decisions about how you spend your time/energy and what you spend your time/energy on.
If you're interested in developing your personal practice beyond these simple techniques, try talking to your teacher about some suggestions, or even request a private consultation to develop a plan geared specifically for you.Dail