10 Self-Care Rituals from DFW Yoga Instructors

imagesI asked 10 Dallas Fort Worth yoga teachers to share their daily self care rituals. What an opportunity to have an array of fresh and respected ideas to begin the New Year. by Leslie Storms RN, M.S. 

1–Bandhas: Abdominal cleansing – uddyana Bandha, Agni Sara, Mula Bandha, ashvini mudra and nauli kriya

I had poor digestion before yoga. My pipes were so clogged it would take days for me to pass food, and it would stink horribly when I did. I got hemorrhoids and fissures and they were painful.

I healed my digestive tract with mindful eating, bandhas and kriyas. Digestion became regular and my anus healed. Life is good when we poo regularly and without pain… And the stink is minimal 😉

Disclaimer: These practices are to be learned under the guidance of a qualified teacher.

Thank you, Ricky Tran www.rickytranyoga.com

2–Moving Meditation

My favorite self-care ritual is an outdoor walk or jog. Spending so much time in the yoga room often leaves me craving Vitamin D and I try to make time for being on my own outside at least once a week. With a background as a distance runner, I have enjoyed making the transition from racing for sport to moving my body outdoors just for that sake of moving. It has been an ongoing lesson in humility,  a grounding experience and has allowed me to tune into what I love most about a good run– the fresh air, the rhythm of my body moving with nature, and the time to clear my head.  Depending on my energy level, I may walk or jog, maybe listen to music or not, but having that time alone allows me to reconnect with that still, secret space where I can fly. Moving meditation at its finest.

Gina Dunn www.ginamariedunn.com

3–The Start Of My Day!

I generally wake up each morning Sunday – Monday between 4:30-5am without an alarm. I do 1-2 yoga stretches before leaving the bed – letting my body know we are about start moving. While in bed I also say a short (30 second prayer over my day and others that come to mind). I head straight to the bath room and do a tongue strapping. I then take around 5-7 minutes to pray in more detail for my day and others. During this time I also say out loud a few confessions / affirmations. Here is one I say everyday “Something great is going to happen to me today!” I then do oil pulling with coconut oil for 20 minutes. Afterward, I brush my teeth and have a lite breakfast. I spend 20-30 minutes of meditation and/or study of the scriptures from the Bible. Afterward, I shower and make ready for the day. I generally put several different type of essential oils on my body before applying any clothes.  I put peppermint, lavender and lemon oils on the bottom of my feet. I’m out the door believing I will have numerous opportunities to encourage individuals.

Joseph B. Stingley www.soulmotivation.com

4–A Guide to Thrive

My very best self-care ritual is a weekly therapy session. Having someone who knows me, and is a neutral third party, to come to for advice, guidance, or simply to communicate feelings or thoughts I don’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone else, I see my therapist.  It is the utmost reason my life is different than it was three years ago when I first began seeing her.

The practice of yoga taught me about awareness.  I became aware of my thoughts, habits, and patterns, and knew I needed to change.

The help and support of a counselor has encouraged me to make different decisions, recognize self destructive patterns, work to build self esteem, and learn to effectively and clearly communicate.  I know it is working because I look around and my life is different, it is the life I always wanted. And there is still much more work to do.

I believe we change our world by changing our mind, so even more than diet, exercise, and physical therapies, this is the most profound practice I participate in.

I would encourage every human on the planet to have a counselor or therapist to talk with, so that we not only survive… we thrive.

Jessie Monds www.jessiemonds.com

5–I love eating well. In recent months, I’ve adopted a new morning routine that has helped me feel better on multiple levels. As such, I feel compelled to share.

For ages, I’m talking years, I’ve adored a daily Starbucks Chai Soy Latte. Every morning. Every. Morning. Then one day, as change often happens for me, I decided to make a clean break. And it’s worked! I no longer spend 5$ in a drive thru every morning, nor do I consume caffeine and sugar to start my day. Instead….

I’ve switched to Hot Water with lemon. Now, hear me out. Especially if you are utterly baffled by the idea. This one is simple. Heat water in a tea kettle. Fill up a cup. Squeeze in the juice of one, preferably organic, lemon. Consume. Drink before you consume anything else. Benefits include cleansing the liver, improvements in complexion and improved circulation. Plus, there’s no impending sugar-rush-crash to dread.

I’ve really enjoyed this new ritual. It’s replaced the need for sugary, caffeine jump start. My entire being feels better.

I invite you to try it on.

Rebecca Butler www.rebeccabutleryoga.com

6–Every morning I wake up and immediately practice a few hatha yoga shat kriyas, or cleansing rituals, to purify and cleanse my digestive, eliminative, respiratory, and circulatory systems.  These have been more therapeutic and beneficial for me than the broad spectrum of yoga asanas and vinyasas that I practice on a daily basis.  Above all I am most fond of nauli kriya, which involves isolating and churning my rectus abdominus muscle in order to massage and detoxify my abdominal organs, as well as jala neti, which involves pouring a warm salt water solution in through each nostril and out the other, in order to irrigate and cleanse my sinuses.  One of my favorite teachers from India taught me these rituals and told me that without doing them, the postures alone are not nearly as effective in purifying the body.

Yoga Mike www.YogaMike.net

7–My self care routine begins as my day begins and hopefully sets the tone of Self Care throughout my day.  As we yogis say, you learn to treat others with compassion when first your treat yourself with compassion. I am lucky to start my day with my favorite yogis whom I LOVE.  Nothing is asked from me and nothing is given.  Only presence is required and we all receive the gift of teacher instruction.  I return home to a hot shower and my favorite breakfast of a big piece of cheese toast, mango juice and a pot of tea while I read the trades.  Aaaahh!

Linda Bomar yoga instructor www.facebook.com/linda.bomar.

8–I put food grade rose water on a cotton swab and on my face in the morning and at night. Refreshes and cleanses the skin and gives it a light fragrance. I also use coconut oil for everything. Dry skin, deodorant, in my hair to moisturize dry ends and tame fly always. A little bit goes a long way. I also feed coconut oil to my pets to help their coats, skin, and reduce that stinky pet smell that some of them hold onto.

Sonya Tatro yoga instructor www.facebook.com/SonyaTatro

9–Eat three apples a day

Brush teeth three times a day

Never on a diet but eat in moderation

Practice yoga regularily

Be considerate of others

and try to leave the place better than when I came.

Jonas Park www.JonasPark.com

10– 1. I open my eyes and say thank you, review what comes up first and give thanks for it.

  1. I walk my cat with my cat to look outside all of my windows. We notice the birds, the rabbits, the other cats, anything else moving outside. We sit and watch as the sun comes up.
  2. I then drink my breakfast drink, soy-protein, organic super-food blend of reds and greens with fish oil.
  3. Meditation
  4. My run or practice or run and practice. Still in meditation, sometimes I listen to world news before I run or practice to see who needs my prayers.
  5. Shower and self-care. Dress
  6. Ready to start the day.
  7. When I lay down to sleep, prayer of gratitude.

Stacy Shepherd RYT www.theyogafactorydallas.com

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