Taking care of others is like exhaling. Taking care of yourself is like inhaling...

For many of us, looking after others is as natural a part of our life as breathing.  We raise our children, love and care for our spouses and our homes, give our all to our jobs, our families, our friends and neighbours.  We volunteer our time to worthy causes, we do favours for others, we care about what happens in the world.  And this is wonderful, this selfless support to others is a hallmark of our humanity.  But all this giving does come at a cost.... to you!  In yoga terms, all the giving is like exhaling, but if you never stop to inhale, to nourish and care for yourself, you will soon run out of breath, out of energy.  That will not be helpful to anyone!  So how can you stop, take a breath, and restore your own power?  Clearly you need to eat well and to sleep, to nourish and rest the body.  But we also need to take care of our minds and our spirits, and to give our bodies the kind of exercise that replenishes and restores, and for these purposes nothing is better than yoga.

Giving yourself an hour away from all the responsibilities of your life is an important step in taking care of yourself.  In your yoga practice you learn to tune into the messages of your body, to listen to your breath and to bring steadiness and calm to the mind.   This is restorative in the deepest sense of the word, returning you to the essence of yourself.  The mindful stretching and breathing awaken your muscles and organs, bringing vitality and energy to the body.  In your yoga practice, you learn to stay focused on the present moment, bringing a sense of perspective to the pressures you face in your daily life.  A regular yoga practice gives you time to really notice the nuances of your body and your mind and this awareness helps you to really feel alive and present.  This truly is the pause that refreshes!