self-care signs.

i’m a huge advocate of self-care. call it what you want, but any excuse to pamper myself i’ll take.

in my last physio appointment i was cleared to get back to exercise, but was cautious to proceed. what could i do that wouldn’t put my back back into spasm? if i move my trunk in the wrong way, waves of pain would still take over.

barre? maybe. but the studio within walking distance was waitlist only.

yoga? since i left my job at the studio, i haven’t hit my mat regularly. maybe it was time for a comeback. there was only one class left of the day: strong & slow with erin. it sounded reasonable and i was friend with the instructor. perfect. but just to make sure, i sent her a text. “EL! tell me more about your class, will i survive?” minutes later she responded, “you’ll survive. i promise!”

guess i was going to yoga.

while we were all getting settled on our mats, Erin encouraged the class to set an intention. “love,” my mind called.

“it could be as simple as one word, like love,” Erin continued.

i smiled to myself. hi, universe. nice of you to join me. guess i decided on my intention.

the class ended up being a take on yin yoga. long and slow holds with a few sun salutations in between. it was just what my body needed: a good stretch that was only painful in a good way. my poor body was so stiff, and the rotation and flexibility limitations of my right thoracic spine were obvious. but it felt good to move. it felt good to flow.

if you ever see Erin Leather on an instructor list, be sure to take her class. and then strike up a conversation because she’s such a smart and interesting human. i sadly had to cut our chat short because i had scheduled a float.

it’d been six months since i took a sensory deprivation bath, but when your body is aching a thousand pounds of epsom salt can’t be bad.

i selected the yoga nidra audio, and settled in to my hour-long float. the beginning of the recording directed me to state a sankalpa aka an intention formed by the heart and mind. traditionally a sankalpa is an “i will” statement. is that you again, universe? fine. i’m doubling up on love. ” i will open myself to love.”

as is common for me, the first 45 minutes of my float were blissful. my back felt great to be weightless, and the water baby in me loved slashing around in the tank. that is until i began to literally splash around. even though the audio was leading me through a meditation, my mind had shut off and my body became restless. better luck next time, laura.

a little unease wasn’t going to ruin the benefits for me. i showered knowing i still had plenty of relaxation ahead. i grabbed a cup of tea and settled into one of the beanbag chairs in the back “zen room.” a quick peruse of the library, and i selected “life plain and simple” a book of sayings/quotes, one on each page. i began to flip through before deciding i needed a strategy to get through this book. when numbers are involved, i regularly think of my birthday – i love birthdays.

flip to page 24.

i can’t even make this stuff up. i actually laughed out loud. a real lol. three times the love.

while my back still hurts today, my heart is a little lighter. if i’ve learned anything from the role models in my life (my two “grandmas”) it’s that you can never love enough. as much as i needed the self-care for my body, the universe was also telling me i needed to embrace a little more love. who am i to ignore it?

what do you do for self-care?