Self-care routines and practices are an important part of living a healthy life. A well-rounded self-care practice includes mental, physical, spiritual, and relational aspects. It’s also important that whatever you choose for self-care is flexible enough to meet the demands of your life. For example, as an entrepreneur, there are times that business is busier than other, and in fact, many work environments have an ebb and flow to the business. Big life events can also be important to consider (having children, new relationships, coping with loss or health concerns, etc.) The only thing consistent about self care is self reflection. In order to make smart, informed decisions about what we need, we have to observe ourselves regularly.
Yoga’s focus inward gives us lots of opportunities to check in. When you practice regularly, you increase your ability to listen to small shifts in our perceptions, body functions, and perhaps even your thoughts and emotions. The practice of turning inwards and focusing only on yourself and your sensations may strike you as “selfish,” but really, the knowledge you gain from reflecting allows you to make better choices about the self-care you need and allows you to engage in your relationships and your work with more self-awareness. Everybody wins!
A note of caution: sometimes self-reflection can lead to "going down the rabbit hole" and maybe even overthinking. There are ways to guard yourself from that. In a standard yoga practice, the ritual and structure actually helps with this. We typically begin with a focus on our breath and end in a resting posture (Sahu pose in Kemetic Yoga, which you may know as savasana). It is this ritual that also signals to our mind, "self-reflection time is over now; move on with your day." The more you practice, the more your body and your mind will adjust to this signal.
We can apply this principle of creating a ritual around our self-reflection to other practices as well. You can signal the beginning and the end of your self-reflection time with behaviors as simple as a glass of water or a candle. For example, you can light a candle at the beginning of your self-reflection time, and blow it out when it's time to move on. All of these practices take time before they become signals to our body's and mind, so be patient and try to be as consistent as possible! I recommend at least once a week for some self-reflection to check in with how you're doing.
Check out this infographic "Tips for Self-Reflection" on our partner site, Grounded Wellness, if you'd like a bite-sized guide to help you develop your self-reflection ritual.