This past week, I’ve been easily frustrated at times, frenzied at other times. Sad when I consider personal and collective losses. Through it all, behind schedule and overwhelmed. All of which is to say I’ve been human and I’m guessing experiencing something similar to you.

Sometimes in yoga we get caught thinking we have to notice only the good or use our practice to fix ourselves into feeling a certain way. The purpose of our physical yoga practice is not to fix, but rather to touch back into a state of clarity, or presence. Presence is that state of awareness of our full human experience. When we touch into it, something within us shifts. We drop into that state of connection to both our inner self and our outer world.

Sukha, or good space, is one of the requirements for touching into that state of presence. In our asana practice, we are always seeking to balance steadiness, or sthira, with sukha. 

I’ve been thinking this week of self-care from the yoga vantage point of making space for my whole self.

I have an old habit I haven’t completely broken of stopping myself from pausing and tending to my needs because I don’t think I will have time or because I just need 5 more minutes to complete something that inevitably turns into an hour.

I forget that allowing space can be as simple as closing my eyes and taking a few slow breaths to check-in: What am I feeling in my body; what’s my mind doing? What am I needing?

Or it can be a five or 10 minute legs up the wall pose to recharge midday. It can be a glass of water. It can be saying no to an invitation without guilt. That it can be time spent outdoors soaking in the sun.

I forget that that space allows me to recharge and return to the work I’m doing renewed. It allows me to be present with others. It allows me to keep showing up in this most challenging of years.

We tend to lose that inner space when we are rushing, when we get caught in our routines. We lose it when we stare too long at a screen. Our eyes fixate, we hold our breath, we tense our jaw and neck. To remember this inner space can allow us to really take in what we’re reading, to feel it’s impact land in our body. It is to connect wholly.

Pause in this moment. Place a hand on your heart and take a few slow breaths into your belly with your eyes closed.

Then consider: How are you holding up? How is your heart? What care are you needing?

This is an incredibly challenging time. Keep allowing yourself this space to reconnect with your whole self. Keep tending to your needs.


We reach home in many ways: music, art, desert, forest, sunrise, solitude. Whatever revives balance is what is essential. That is home. — Clarissa Pinkola Estes.