I love going to Restorative Yoga. If you aren't familiar with it, in a Restorative Yoga class you use lots of props like bolsters, blankets and pillows to support yourself in resting poses.
In the hour and 15 minute class you might do only 4 resting poses, which means that once you settle in, you stay there for a bit and focus on centering breath. (or start snoring like I did last time I went - but that's another story for another day...)
Something the teacher said in one of my classes was so simple and profound. As she was telling us how to use the props to get into the pose she kept repeating:
“Take your time, use all the support you need and then soften into it.”
When she said this, in her softly authoritative voice, what I heard was 'you have permission'.
Permission to slow down here and now.
Permission to receive support here and now.
Permission to love yourself here and now.
Not in the future when you can 'do the pose faster and better and all on your own', but right here in this moment.
In this moment when I was feeling self-conscious and rushed in my mind and not quite able to get that left leg in the position for this particular pose, she gave me permission to take my time, to use all these bolsters and pillows for support, to be okay with her kneeling beside me to adjust all these things and ask how I was feeling...all so I could open up and create space in my body and in my mind and in my spirit.
Space to restore.
Imagine how as women, our journey would shift if this were our daily mantra: “Take your time, use all the support you need and then soften into it.”
The thing is, in Restorative Yoga, once you've gone a time or two, you know what it means to take your time, use all the support you need and then soften into it. You see the pillows and bolsters piled up and ready for you. You have a teacher whose purpose is to guide and support you. You have the time to soften into all of this and let yourself feel loved.
It's our day-to-day that can be a bit challenging to get clear on what it looks like to 'take your time, use all the support you need and then soften into it.'
How the heck do you do all of that when you're rushing through your days, multi-tasking and feeling like 24 hours is not enough time as it is, let alone to squeeze-in-one-more-thing!
A few years back I had a few aha's about support and self-love:
First, when I'm more supported and rested, I like myself better, I am happier and life is easier for me and everyone around me.
Second, sometimes loving myself well doesn't mean I have to squeeze-in-one-more-thing. Sometimes loving myself means letting go of things I think I should do...like saying no to being on a the baseball team committee or letting my teenage boys clean the kitchen even though they don't do it the same way I would do it.
Other times it means I make the things I need to do more enjoyable like listening to a podcast when I'm prepping food or turning up my favorite tunes while I'm folding laundry or lighting a candle when I'm sitting down to eat a meal by myself.
Third, I need to be okay asking for and receiving support.
So, my invitation for you in this month that focuses on love is to ask yourself what support and self-love might look like for you right now in the midst of your full life.
What would it look like for you to take your time a little more often, use all the support you need and then soften into how that feels for you?
Jill and I would love to hear from you! Just hit reply to this email or tag us on Facebook and Instagram and let us know what you're planning to do to show yourself a little love and affection this month!