Yoga and meditation are two excellent ways to practice self-care that are good for physical and emotional health. These can be done separately or during your morning or nighttime routine.
Keep reading to learn more about yoga and meditation and how they can help your self-care journey.
Yoga for Self-Care
The first practice we want to talk about for self-care is yoga. You probably have an idea of what yoga is, and you might have even taken a class or done some poses at home. It’s a great place to start, but there might be more benefits to doing yoga than you have imagined.
Here are some things to know about yoga, including reasons to do them specifically for self-care.
Yoga Gives You Time to Yourself
First, yoga is perfect if you want to do more activities on your own to give your mind a little break from your hectic life. By committing to doing yoga daily or at least regularly, you can tell your family that you want this time to work on your yoga alone. You may want to do it in your own home or by taking an outside class.
Some people benefit by going to yoga classes with their friends and getting to know like-minded people, which can be fantastic for you. However, remember that your primary purpose is self-care, so keep that in mind when deciding the best decision for you.
Done in Any Length of Time
Another reason to start practicing yoga for self-care is that you can do it anytime. While classes are often 30-60 minutes, that doesn’t mean you have to do an entire class every time.
Once you learn some basic moves and stretches, you can do yoga just about anywhere and in any circumstance. If you have a few minutes before needing to leave work for the day, close your office door and do some office yoga. You can fit it in while dinner is cooking, early in the morning, or over the weekend.
Try Yoga in a Class or at Home
Also, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all yoga method. There are not only different places to do yoga but different types of yoga as well. If you are brand new to yoga, taking a class is recommended but not required.
There are classes you can do at home with a DVD or online, or you can get a book that shows the different yoga poses and essential breathing techniques.
You may also want to try different types of yoga, such as:
- Hatha yoga
- Gentle stretch yoga
- Hot Yoga
- Aerial yoga
- Online yoga
Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Are you struggling with stress and anxiety? Which is a common thing people deal with, which can affect every facet of your life. Instead of looking to pills and other medical remedies, why not first try something natural like yoga? It is fantastic for self-care and will help to reduce anxiety and stress at the same time.
Improve Physical and Mental Health
You will learn how to calm your mind and release negative energy, find clarity, and improve your stress and other mental health conditions through yoga. It is also excellent on a physical level, toning and lengthening your body, improving your flexibility, and strengthening your muscles.
There aren’t many reasons NOT to do yoga and a lot of reasons to do it. Remember that you want to do it for self-care, and you will be encouraged to make it a part of your routine.
Meditation for Self-Care
The next activity or practice that can help tremendously with your self-care journey is meditation. You can do this as part of a routine with yoga or on its own. Meditation takes practice, just like yoga, but what you gain is astonishing.
How Does Meditation Work?
With meditation, you are working on breathing exercises and guided visualizations that allow you to clear your mind. Recusing your worries and stress gives you moments of clarity. By meditating, you are pushing out the negative energy and thoughts in your mind to leave room for more positive ones.
Different Types of Meditation
Here are some of the top forms of meditation:
Basic/Breathing Meditation – First up is the main form of meditation, where you practice your deep breathing exercises. Often done sitting in a quiet and comfortable position with your eyes closed. All you will do is take deep breaths in and out, focusing on the inhaling and exhaling. Focus on your breath, the feeling of your chest moving up and down, and nothing else. When you focus only on your breathing, it helps to clear those nagging thoughts from your mind.
Guided Visualization – You may be someone who benefits more from guided Visualization. Being done through a guided meditation where you listen to a recording of someone helping you along the imagery, or you can create the visualization on your own. It is excellent for beginners because when you listen to a guided meditation, a lot of the work is done for you regarding what to picture and how to go through the steps.
Mindfulness Meditation – Lastly, we highly recommend trying mindfulness meditation. You are going to be highly aware of everything happening at the current moment. Turn off distractions and focus on sights, smells, and sounds around you. Look at your surroundings, understand what is happening right now, and continue focusing on it.
Benefits of Meditation for Self-Care
Meditation is not only good for general health and wellness but particularly useful as a self-care activity. It will give you some time to yourself, help reduce stress or anxiety from your hectic life, and can become part of your daily self-care routine.
Tips for Success
Schedule meditation daily – In the beginning, meditation takes a lot of practice, so you want to do it often, preferably once or even more daily. If you struggle with motivation, schedule your meditation times for when you know you will be alone or can shut a door in your home to keep out distractions.
Start with just a few minutes a day – Don’t stress about having to meditate for an hour right from the beginning. Instead, start with 1-3 minute sessions that you time so that you can get in your practice without becoming frustrated or overwhelmed with it.
Incorporate music or sounds – Another method you can use is using sounds or even soft music in the background to help you refocus your attention.
Turn it into a daily routine – Finally, making a routine out of it can be helpful and help motivate you to continue with it. If you are also doing yoga, why not combine them?
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