The “S” Word

A woman new to Love Yoga practiced with me in Hatha I last week. After class, we got to chatting … & I became the student.

The lesson? Mary takes every Wednesday for her own self-care.

Yep. Whole day. Every week. My mind was blown too.

Mary works a LOT — she owns her own business, providing self-care services for others as an aesthetician. Her daily schedule may consist of 10-12 hours of client appointments. She gives her expert skills, her time, & most importantly her positive emotional & mental energy to each client she serves. And each client walks back into their stressful lives feeling pampered physically, yes, but more importantly also a little more centered in spirit.

So, as I was learning more about her family & her work, she drops wisdom meant seemingly just for me — Self-care isn’t selfish. She said, “It’s part of my job, my responsibility as a professional. I care for my temple — body, mind, spirit — so I can give the best to my family & to my clients.”

But a WHOLE DAY?? Who has a whole day to devote to yourself, let alone a whole day EACH WEEK?

I’m amazed. I’m inspired. Mary has a vibe about her that is positively infectious, inspiring … I’ll have what she’s having, please.

While I rarely have a whole day to devote to my own self-care, this month I’ve scheduled a 30-minute massage each week. And honestly, I was feeling bad about it — like, is this really necessary? C’mon, Erica, you’re over-indulging just a bit … does your budget really allow for this?

My conversation with Mary came at just the right time … not to validate a luxury, but to remind me of what’s essential.



I have a feeling deep in my bones that many of you pour yourselves into others day in & day out. No one has accused you of laziness or slacking, Sister!

So, what practices are essential to your well-being? Though these practices seem “luxuries” to some — a warm bath, a massage, a day staring out the window, a day in the woods — they are essential for your soul. I encourage you, as I’m encouraging myself, to be inspired by Mary’s wisdom & example. If you’re reading this post, Mary — thank you for my lesson!

On a side note, since my last post, I’ve been taking part in Karen Brody’s “Daring to Rest” 40-Day Challenge. Yoga Nidra is a HUGE challenge for me … I’ll be updating you on my rest progress soon. Until then, may you practice intentional Self-Care this week — I hope to hear from you here or on the mat soon! Cheers, E

Published by ericaengel42

I practice & share Hatha Yoga for a simple reason -- it works. Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition is a holistic system of philosophy & practices passed down through an unbroken 5,000 year lineage of Himalayan sages. What Hatha Yoga is not: trendy, bendy or one-&-done. What Hatha Yoga is: a systematic approach to uncovering the real, authentic YOU in body, mind & spirit. Hatha Yoga cultivates well-being, stability, clarity & ease in modern life through traditional, time-tested practices. I also recognize both our shared humanity & our differing privileges & barriers -- I am a cis-gendered white female with a graduate degree, who has dealt with family trauma & an eating disorder. My goals in my own practice include to cultivate awareness of my own privileges & social conditioning, unlearn & re-learn in order to be mindful & take compassionate action toward a more beautiful, just & peaceful world for ALL humans, creatures & our Earth. I'm making mistakes daily, & hopeful that I'm falling forward toward these goals & vision. I hope we can walk our paths & support each other along the way.

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