Elevating Self-Care to Self-Compassion

Yoga by Paige in Joshua Tree, California | Wearing:  Alo Yoga

Yoga by Paige in Joshua Tree, California | Wearing: Alo Yoga

As you may know, I teach several classes during the week while balancing a full-time day job. Sometimes things get a little crazy maintaining such a full schedule. I definitely don’t have time for anything to go wrong or to be sick. I feel very accountable to many people whether it’s at the yoga studio, in meetings, and most definitely toward my husband and pup.

This week just so happens to be one of those weeks where the pressure is building, I’ll be running our annual Sales Kick-Off meeting in Phoenix in just another week, which means I’m running on all cylinders, more so than usual. I’ve been craving alone time (that’s my introversion showing) and quiet. Ironically, when I’m so busy and doing more than ever, I begin to feel isolated and very, very alone. I’ve learned that when I’m moving too fast or have taken on too much that I’m not as present and connected as I want to be. My meditation practice has helped me to stay grounded, but there’s still this small voice in the back of my head urging that I can do more (and should be doing more).

Then the Universe steps in, several interesting things happened in my last classes this week—reminding me to chill out, do the work, and simply show up.

Self-Compassion is Strong

One of my students shared a very personal incident that has filled her with significant grief and hurt—yet I was struck by her strength to continue showing up for herself, making the time to listen to her body and connect. She is allowing herself to be completely immersed in her feelings rather than stuffing them down or numbing her experience. She allowed me to hold space for her, to support her, and to love her when she needs it most. Her self-compassion is helping her grieve and accept the love she needs at the hardest of times.

It’s okay to share our weaknesses

I witnessed three freeway accidents in a 20-min drive while on my way to teach a back-to-back class in another city. A huge reality check that driving while in a hurry is definitely not worth saving a few extra minutes to be “on time.” I ended up showing up three minutes late and having to be honest with the students waiting. We made a deal that if I’m a couple minutes late—it’ll be alright. I will still show up and they will too. What a relief to be open about the situation and have my students meet me where I needed them. As teachers, there is this unspoken rule that we are there for our students and we need to check our stuff at the door, which I most definitely agree with. But the support I received back this weekend was beyond my wildest expectations.

Trust the Practice

All of the students in one of my classes spoke English as a second or third language—talk about barriers! I had to adjust the flow I intended on teaching, needed to pay closer attention to their body language, and physically do more of the class allowing my students to follow along. Afterward, even though I had a harder time reading the room, each of these ladies was beaming. It was a huge reminder to trust the yoga. Our practice doesn’t have to include fancy transitions and advanced asana to facilitate the mind-body connection. Our yoga practice is potent and provides exactly what we need every time we step onto the mat.

Compassion is something that I believe is so much easier to extend to those around us. But if I’ve learned anything through these lessons it’s that just like self-care, compassion actually begins with ourselves. Take it easy on yourself, do your best, and trust.

xo, Paige

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