Community is everything. I have moved around a lot in my life, but two big moves for me were to London, UK for 5 years and recently to Los Angeles, CA with my husband [I’m actually Canadian]. Both times I felt completely lost at the start, but in time, through getting involved in the communities I found myself part of, I felt more at home. Community is the thing that makes you feel ‘at home’. From the friends groups you circle in or getting to know your local shopkeepers, and frequenting your local restaurants, community is a vital part of who we are.
I have been so fortunate to have built an incredible community of support in my life, which has recently manifested in the success of my online yoga classes. People all over the world tuning into my classes and sending me messages of thanks, but then also of hope as their entire worlds have been flipped upside down. It’s made me feel less alone in my own ups and downs. But mostly, it’s helped put me in the position to be able to support my community, shopping local businesses and restaurants that have provided me with joy. Support for your communities creates a cycle. Your support of someone often means their support of someone and so forth. If everyone acted selfishly during this time, we would really struggle.
Self-care to me means sometimes saying no, something I find really hard at times. It means taking an entire day off, I’m self-employed so I end up working nearly every day to some extent. It means switching off, my phone is on do-not-disturb all of the time. When I go for a walk with my husband, it stays inside. When I am out with friends, it sits in my bag. Self-care means a glass of wine after a long day sat at a computer and not feeling bad if I finish an entire bottle, because a little balance is the key to life. Self-care is the language we speak to ourselves, we have the choice to be our biggest critic or our biggest fan.
Self-care goes deeper than a monthly facial or massage [both of which I try to do]. You can dry brush your body every night and cover it in every cream imaginable but if it is suffering beneath the surface then it’s just a cover up. It has to extend deeper than our superficial layers. Self-care extends from within.
I 100% agree with this. Especially helpful in recovery of any kind, the practice of a ritual can really help lessen anxieties that might trigger abusive patterns within ourselves. I have found it pivotal in my own well-being throughout this time. I used to bob around the city teaching back to back classes, so when everything shut down 7 weeks ago I was left with an abundance of time. I teach every day online as a way to keep myself accountable for my own practice and before every class I make the same tea, and I do the same breathing techniques. Even the simple art of moving the furniture around the exact same way in my living-room brings me a bit of comfort, as silly as that might sound. If I find myself feeling anxious at all, I put my electronics away, do something nice for myself [read, face mask, oil rub, bath etc.] and I try my best to stay 100% present in that task with the help of the breath.
Yoga was THE thing that inspired my self-care routine. I had a pretty troubled youth and I was not kind to myself for quite a long time. I remember leaving my first yoga class and I hadn’t remembered feeling THAT good in so long. I could think clearly for the first time in a long time and I remember wanting to change the cycle of abuse I was putting myself through. To feel that good all of time. To feel truly happy. It took me a little bit of time to undo the harm I caused myself but through every misstep, it remained my constant. It was the start of me listening to my mind and body, understanding its pain. I don’t want to give it all of the credit, but it changed the entire path I was on and I wanted to share that knowledge so I started teaching. Feeling ‘that good’ is addictive and I wanted to share it with the world.
Eluo is my moment for me. I love the art of it. The process. I start by choosing my ‘mood’ or which polish I might need, then there is the task of making the paste, deciding which elevators I might incorporate, mixing it up like the perfect shade of paint. It’s a moment with myself in a mirror where I can be nice to my face, something that I can be quite hard on mentally at times. It’s a nice chance for me to stay present with myself.
Join us this Saturday May 16 at 4pm PST on Instagram live as Jaime leads us through a calm, grounded yin yoga class.