I had that moment this morning when the gentle chirping birds of my alarm began and I asked myself whether I should turn it off or get out of bed to attend the local Body Balance class. It combines Tai Chi, yoga and Pilates and finishes with a meditation. I love it, my body, mind and spirit all benefit from it. I could just attend the options later in the day and I do on a Wednesday and Friday but my Tuesday morning, 6:30am class is a lesson in self-care.
I know myself well after 51 years on the planet. I expect a lot from myself, am self-critical and constantly think about ways to improve on what I’m doing. I recently spent time with my family overseas and was reassured (and alarmed) to realise I come from a family of worriers who constantly apologise for everything. Part of the journey of learning is understanding how important it is to send clear and supportive messages to myself and to those I love. Words are one thing but actions, well they speak louder. I defining moment for me was committing to regular exercise and making it a non-negotiable. Exercise is about self-care, awareness of my body, establishing stamina and strength to face each day, and probably more so to counteract the critical messages I send myself daily.
When I exercise I’m sending the message that I’m worth taking care of, that I’m taking the time to think of my well being. Walking is great; I get to exercise in a way I enjoy, I’m outside experiencing the changing seasons, waving to people I know and I have the added bonus of connecting with friends who love and support me. Body Balance takes this message to a whole new level. I have 45 minutes where I’m not talking or thinking about anything other than how to hold myself in the correct position, stretch just a little bit further, go just a little bit deeper in my pose. I am focussing on myself in a positive and constructive way.
I used to skip the meditation part at the end. I am not good at laying still and emptying my mind. I still struggle, it is the hardest part of the class. But I am getting better at it and I am sending myself a clear message that I am worth the hard work.
For Christmas this year the kids designed a new yoga mat for me with the Andromeda Galaxy printed on it. So now every time I’m taking care of myself I have a reminder that my kids think it’s a great idea. And that I’m worth getting up one day a week to be at class by 6:30am.