Self-care is on the rise and at times it can be overwhelming to know what to do or what is right for our body. But what is self-care? It has gained a reputation of being an indulgence and something to do in our spare time. In reality, self-care is any act that is necessary for us to regulate our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
It is what we need to be aligned with our true self. This can be anything from brushing our teeth each day, to journal about our struggles, to committing to a weekly yoga practice. It isn’t always as easy in practice though, life can get in the way of a deep and nurturing self-care practice.
As a college student, our life can be taken over by classes, social life, extracurricular activities, and anything else that we choose to do. How are we supposed to get eight-hours of sleep, do well in school, enjoy life, have deep friendships, cook and eat foods that feel good and give us energy, plan out our entire life, AND have a self-care practice?
We have all these people external to us telling us when things are due and the standards we need to uphold and that we need to have our life figured out.
There is a lot of pressure in college and we tend to make our external world a higher priority than taking care of our inner world, taking care of our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs. It is easy to lose sight of caring for ourselves – mind, body, and soul.
We lose sight of how to manage stress and get caught up in the busyness of life. We forget about ourselves and our needs, and often this disconnect gets expressed in unhealthy ways; anger, stress, bodily tension, and other habits that don’t serve our highest good manifest in our lives.
We sometimes do not even realize it until it is too late, and we are unable to show up in life how we want because it has become too much. We reach a breaking point and then give ourselves minimal rest and maybe take time to reevaluate what is going on.
What if it did not have to be like that? What if there was something to help us learn how to manage stress?
For many, myself included, yoga has come to play an essential role in self-care. It was not easy getting here though. It took time and dedication to myself, to allow myself to experience the benefits and nourishment yoga can provide. I always thought external expectations mattered more than what I needed and desired for my life.
I put everything above myself, and over time got lost in that. I had to consciously choose to make myself a priority and trust that even when it is hard, respecting and honoring my self-care needs serve my highest good and help me show up as my best self.
It has helped me learn how to manage stress and it does so not only because of the movement and energy release it offers, but more so because of what it teaches.
Yoga is so much more than a way to work out the physical body. It helps us to connect to our breath. It helps us feel connected to our body. It is the link between mind, body, and soul.
When we commit ourselves to a yoga practice, whether that is going to a class once a month, week, or day, it transforms us.
The commitment, not to burn calories or get “toned” or lose weight, but to connecting with ourselves and learning about trusting our bodies and souls, that is what yoga is about. It is about no longer defining ourselves as our bodies and learning to see ourselves for who we truly are and what our bodies are capable of.
Committing to this practice, radically changed how I see my body. I learned that it is not how my physical form looks or how “acceptable” it is to society, rather it is about the respect I have for my body.
It is about understanding that my body is unique and my yoga practice, is mine. It is not to be compared to another’s and there is no morality attached to it. We are not good or bad for doing yoga, and we are not good or bad based on how well we can do yoga.
When we show up with the intention of connecting, mind, body, and soul, it becomes a practice of freedom. A way to manage our stress through release of physical energy and endorphins and learning how to feel at home in our body.
This new perspective of our body being our home, can create incredible change in our lives. It brings new confidence into all our relationships, as well as into our school work. When we treat our body with respect and acceptance for its capabilities, the concern for how it looks and defining ourselves by our body, slowly fades away.
All the energy that we used for comparison, judging ourselves, and criticizing our bodies, becomes available. This energy can then be used to focus more on our academics and truly experiencing life. We all have so much to offer this world, and when we don’t care for ourselves, we limit our ability to be our true and best selves.
As a college student, it can also be difficult to navigate the financial aspect of self-care practices such as yoga. Urban Fi Yoga is now offering new student discounts because we are doing the best we can to make this form of self-care accessible to all it resonates with. In the end, this commitment to yourself, will make all the difference.
Urban Fit Yoga values you, your money and time and know that being a student comes with many burdens and great pressure, and our hope is to make the time you spend here with us, be the start to a lifetime of making yourself a priority.
This form of self-care is vital to us not just surviving in the world but thriving.
Sometimes it can feel like the world is telling us that self-care has to look perfect and pretty and make us feel all happy and forget about our troubles for it to be worth it…and this limits us.
Yoga as a mindful movement practice isn’t meant to make us forget about the world and our struggles, it does so much more. It gives us the space to connect with ourselves on all levels. This has a lingering effect that, over time, shifts our mindset and approach to life.
Eventually, we can begin to see that when we give ourselves the space to care for our needs, we show up better in all areas of our life.
Through learning how to manage stress and care for ourselves we have the capacity for deeper friendships, being present in our classes, doing our best in all areas of our life, and experiencing the joys this world has to offer, because we are no longer paralyzed by how overwhelming life is.
Sending you all so much love and acceptance. You deserve to care for you.
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Urban Fit Yoga posts relevant, inspiring, and nourishing tools to support you along your healing journey. We believe that the benefits of yoga can extend far off your mat and we want to help!