Happy Self-Care Weekend! I`ve made some simple Self-Care practices for a Healthy Mind, Happy Body and a Holy Soul.
Self-Care: Healthy Mind
- Affirmations: Make it a habit that the first thing you do in the morning is to stand in front of the mirror and recite positive affirmations to yourself.
a) I have the freedom and power to create the life I want
b) I believe in myself and my abilities to follow my dreams
c) I am happy, healthy and holy
d) I am strong and I am wise
Note that you don’t have to use these particular sentences. Focus on what you need to say to yourself and recite it mentally or verbally in front of the mirror.
2) Meditation: You deserve some time off to renew your energy with meditation. A 3-minute meditation will calm you down. The breath is the lifeforce that runs through your body. Learning to breathe well is one of the most powerful ways to revitalize your body, mind, and emotions. The benefits of mindful breathing exercises are far-reaching. By maximizing your intake of oxygen and ridding your body of waste products, they boost every body system, helping you to feel and look both more vibrant and more relaxed, and to maintain a calm mind at times of tension.
The breath is the interface between your body and your mind. Every thought you have, action you take and emotion you experience influences your breathing.
Here is an exercise for stress-relief:
When you are stressed your muscles will tense and your breathing will speed up and become increasingly shallow. This is an instinctive response known as the “flight or fight” mechanism. The stresses of the daily activities can trigger this response in your body during a day of your life. When you are stuck in traffic or faced with impossible deadlines at work or a constantly ringing phone.
This exercise will help calm your mind in stressful situations. Start by sitting comfortably on a chair or in Padmasana (Lotus Pose) Then close your eyes and just watch your breathing rising and falling. Do not do anything else, and do not try to change or consciously slow your breathing. When you are ready begin step 1, below.
- Sit with your back straight and your head upright. Gently seal your lips and inhale through your nose only. Feel the air entering your nostrils and moving past the back of your throat. Picture the breath moving down your trachea, or windpipe, into your bronchial tubes and then entering and filling your lungs.
2. At the end of the in-breath, notice a momentary halt in your breathing as your in-breath “turns around” to transform itself into the out-breath.
3. As you exhale through your nose, be aware of your lungs emptying themselves of air. Visualize your breath moving up past your throat and out through your nostrils.
4. Feel a breeze on your upper lip at the end of the out-breath. Then notice the slight pause as your out-breath stops for a moment before becoming the next in-breath.
5. Repeat, but as you take in each in-breath, visualize yourself joyously drawing in life energy. On the exhalations consciously release any pent-up emotions, (the pressures of today) letting them go as you breathe out your impurities, including carbon dioxide.
6. Keep watching and listening to your breath, noticing that as it becomes calmer and slower, your mind, too feels calmer and slower.
7. Try to sit for 10-20 minutes with your mind completely focused on your breathing. Whenever your mind drifts off, bring your thoughts back to your breath. Lastly, stand up, stretch and notice how much calmer you feel.
Happy Body Mind & Soul: Bodyscan
Set aside some time throughout your day where you can be totally undistracted and lie comfortably. Mute your phone and set it aside, put on some incense or scented candles.
Begin by lying down in bed, get all cozy this cold fall and find a position that is comfortable for you. Start with noticing the in-breath and out-breath and how it feels to you. You may want to recite these sentences:
Breathing in I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out I know that I am breathing out.
When you become mindful of your body you will begin to find a relaxation of mind, a calmness that also will calm your body and your muscles will loosen up.
- Bring your attention to your toes, start to wiggle them a little bit. How do they feel? Now relax your toes and mindfully recite:My toes are relaxed
My toes are sinking deeper and deeper into my mattress.
My toes are now completely relaxed.
- Now bring attention to your legs. Notice closely how your legs feel. Are they tired after a long day of walking? Any sensations that come to mind, pulsation, throbbing. Bring your mind back to your breath and recite the following sentences:My legs are relaxed
My legs are sinking deeper and deeper into my mattress
My legs are now completely relaxed
- Bring your focus to your whole back, your lower back and your neck area where all your tension is. Bring your awareness and breath to your whole back and neck. Recite these sentences:My back and neck are relaxed
My back and neck sinks deeper into the mattress
My back and neck are now completely relaxed.
- Our emotions are accumulated in all our chakras and it’s very important to bring attention to each of these aspects. Let’s begin with the stomach, which is the 3 chakra for solar plexus. In every Kundalini lesson taught by Yogi Bhajan, he said that the navel center is actually approximately 2-3 inches below the belly button. This is the center of energy that is the gravity balance point in the body.
Rest your hands on your navel center, bring your index and middle finger of both your hands on the navel center. Have a slight pressure and notice how your in-breath expands your stomach and moves your fingers, on your out-breath your fingers should move back to normal position again. Continue this for 1 minute and get to know the center of your body. Recite the following sentences:
My navel center is relaxed
My navel center sinks deeper into the mattress
My navel center is now completely relaxed
5. Bring attention to your heart, feel the energy of love circulating throughout your whole body. From the base of your toes all the way up to your head. Your heart center is where you have all your forgiveness, your loving kindness, healing, unconditional love, and joy. This is the center of compassion and where happiness begins. But it also has a shadow emotions like anger, greed, and grief. In this short body scan, I would like you to meditate on releasing what your heart doesn’t need anymore. Your heart center should be all-encompassing of your love and compassion. Let’s begin by reciting the following sentences:
I release my fears in my heart center
I gain loving kindness and compassion
I release my grief in my heart center
I gain loving kindness and compassion
Now take some deep long breaths in and exhale the tension out from your body. You will now sense how the breath has changed, its much calmer and has a natural breath tonality. The body feels healthy, the mind is calm and nourished and the soul is brought back. This is a good time to take notice and write about your experiences. How do you feel right now? after practicing this mindful body scan and breathwork? Did you notice any changes in your thoughts? Did the exercise meet your expectations? Was it worse? Better?
Journaling, How do you feel? Track your experiences
Take your spiritual journal or notebook with you and write down your personal experiences. There is nothing wrong with how you feel if it was painful to reconnect with your body, mind, and spirit. Its natural to have emotions that stir up when you mindfully engage the breath which opens up the chakras of your body. You might feel like you have reached an insight that makes you aware of what does not serve your life, your body, your mind or soul. It could be just as simple as; I deserve to relax more in my life. I deserve to relax and renew and take some time to myself
Healthy body: Yogi Tea
Make a cup of Yogi tea and enjoy the tea as mindfully as you can. Bring attention to the nourishing qualities of the tea. Take the teacup in your hands like you are holding a fragile and the most beautiful flower in your hands, and you feel the warmth of the teacup you are holding penetrate throughout your fingers and the palm of your hand. Begin to raise the cup to your nose and smell the tea, let the aroma of your tea enter your body and mindfully breathe in deeply to get all that wonderful aroma into your body. Taste the tea and sharpen the senses of your taste buds to engage in the flavors of the Yogi tea. Now, this is how you mindfully drink tea 🙂
Healthy Body Mind & Soul:
1) Yoga: Practice a relaxing yoga pranayama (breathing exercise). You can try this here
2) Music: Listen to relaxing music. This mantra called Ajai Alai is for being in your power. It`s wonderful and also my favorite music to have on in the background as I go about my day to day chores around the house.
3) Eat healthy food: Don’t forget to fuel your body mind and soul with holy soul food. I love Pinterest when I make vegetarian/vegan dinner and lunch. There is so much delicious food out there, why don’t you let yourself change it up a bit and try something different? Here are some delicious recipes you can try out this weekend 🙂
4) Compassion: Remember that every single person that you walk by has a story, their story could be that they are depressed, they have anxiety or have lost their loved ones. If you smile to everyone that you see and encounter in your daily life, your heart center will become more balanced and you whole aura will shine bright with love for all.
5) Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings in a meditation journal or notebook. Write down your experiences, your thoughts, insights and your challenges and how you have overcome them. In a blank page write down the title: What am I grateful for in my life? You can draw, color and make lists of your gratitude that you have. With mindful journaling, we bring attention towards our emotions, thoughts and we visualize our dreams and hopes on paper. The practice will make you become more aware of what your joys are in your life.
I wish you a healthy, happy and holy Self-Care weekend!! Why don`t you leave me a comment below and tell me how you felt after trying the practices. How did you like the recipes? The body can? The pranayama exercises? the mindful drinking?
Thanks for reading!
Tiaga Nihal Kaur,