It wasn’t long after becoming a massage therapist that I realized the importance of mastering self-care, for the sake of both my own being AND for the sake of every other being I would ever touch. Realizing this truth was rather simple, it arose naturally through experience, however, grounding insights from above into every day life can be quite the challenge. After years of practice and education in the healing arts, I’ve gotten really good at doing self care, but I must admit that there are still times where I get sucked into some new thing and start to neglect my own body. We all do it, so let this story be a reminder to us all.
Four days before leaving for Sonic Bloom, I threw out my back and instantly felt the weight of my clients and future obligations as I tried to relax on a bag of ice. I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to show up and offer massage for the festival, and I knew that I needed to dedicate the next few days to rest and self-care. I did all the things that I had been putting off over the last month while obsessing over Ableton. I got a chiropractic adjustment immediately, a massage on day two, and a float on day three. All the while, I alternated with heat and ice while paying close attention to my body mechanics. Through observation, I realized the root of my imbalance… posture. Sometimes, it’s really just that simple.
I really wasn’t happy that I had to cancel on my clients those few days, but I am grateful for the opportunity of stillness it provided. The time of forced stillness gave me the chance to meditate a LOT and after my partner Ethan Lindhout showed me the basics for working in Premiere Pro, I created my first ever music video for one of the tracks that I will be putting on my first album as Mahaṁūṇa.
(You can watch it here if you’re curious)
It really wasn’t until after I floated on day three that I experienced tangible relief. I was still feeling a little sore and restricted when I got out to Hummingbird Ranch, but dancing and sleeping on the ground also did wonders for me and I’m so grateful (in hindsight) that I was gifted with pain before this adventure.
The pain forced me to slow down and take care of myself before and throughout the festival. Remaining aware of which movements triggered and relieved the pain revealed to me what muscles are locked in, and which are fluid. I have since refined my daily yoga practice accordingly. While pain can be uncomfortable, it can really teach us a lot about how the body functions and how we can best support it.
Along with this heightened body awareness, also came insights to memories and emotions that were subconsciously reinforcing my patterns of pain and tension.
From these insights, I am adjusting my posture, my body mechanics, my thoughts, and my responses to both mental and external stimuli, not only in my yoga practice, but in life.
My aim is to remain in intimate communication with my body at all times, to automatically and naturally listen and adjust myself to what my body needs in any given moment, so that I may continuously return to a centered state of integrity, strength, love, and joy. The more in tune I remain with my own living flesh, the more tuned in I become with all things of matter and form. The more whole and balanced I am within, the easier and more natural it is to balance and connect with you, with all beings!
So now I’m back and integrating these lessons, again. 😋
I’m taking my self-care seriously, getting back on a consistent float, yoga, and massage schedule, and I want to encourage all my friends, clients, neighbors, and strangers to do the same!
In the spirit of paying it forward, my friend Bill and I are offering a donation based workshop, Yoga & Authentic Relating, at my house TOMORROW, 2-4:30pm in Denver! Text me at 303-503-6010 if you would like to join in the fun. Bill is currently working to get a PhD in counseling psychology at CSU, and has been teaching authentic relating practices alongside Buddhist Meditation over the last four years. We have offered similar workshops in the past, and are excited to explore this new format of practice. You can expect to start off with some meditation and movement, from there we’ll move into communication and relating games, and we’ll end with a short Yoga Nidra.
You may want to bring a meditation cushion, a pillow, and/or a blanket to remain comfortable on the floor.