I used to think that self-care was all about how I exercised and what I put in and on my body -- such as how much yoga or cycling I did, what I did and didn't eat, how I treated my skin and hair. Then recently while I was speaking with a friend about a self-care challenge she was sponsoring, I mentioned the deeper commitment I was inspired to make to my (already steady) yoga practice. She looked at me and said, “You teach yoga, Jillian. Have you thought about making time for a passion of yours that is not connected to what you do for a living?”
There I was, completely attached to the idea that my self-care had entirely to do with wellness, beauty or fitness oriented endeavors. The idea that self-care could mean something completely different — journaling, playing music, having tea with a friend or making flower arrangements — seemed that moment to be radical. It shifted my perspective.
Yes, I still consider my yoga practice a part of my self-care ritual. It fulfills essential elements of myself. I have however made space to nurture other passions like arranging flowers, gardening and adventuring. I’ve begun consciously building a community of like-minded people around me and have found new ways to support my body and mind through lifestyle and nutrition. Here’s what’s great: by exploring new areas of self-care, I feel more connected to my authentic essence than I have been in a very long time...and as a result, more connected to my yoga practice!
As we dive deeper into fall and winter, classically viewed in Ayurveda as more internal and reflective seasons, I invite you to consider looking at your definition of self-care. In the yoga tradition we call this practice svadhyaya, or self-study.
Jillian is a yogini based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She leads weekly public yoga classes for adults and specializes in yoga for kids and families. Her studies have led her to complete training at YogaWorks, Karma Kids and Yoga Playgrounds. Jillian feels blessed to practice and teach yoga and is particularly passionate about empowering her students with tools to navigate the modern world with ease.