Growing up, I was never much for facials, lotions, or mud masks. Pampering seemed indulgent, not something I deserved or needed. In truth I think I was not alone… people often feel guilty about spending time or money on self-care.
It wasn’t until I’d been practicing yoga for about 11 years and entered into a yoga teacher training that I started to get regular cravings to hit the spa, slather myself with moisturizers and oils, go for facials, massages, and straight into the hot tub or sauna if I saw one.
There was something about the commitment and rigor of my yoga practice, the often sore muscles in the morning, and the intensity of the self-inquiry process that just called for a steam room and a cold lavender-infused towel as often as possible!
And I haven’t looked back. If there’s an opportunity to pamper, I am all over it. If you’ve ever traveled with me, you know that if there is a hot spring or a reputable spa anywhere nearby, that we’re going.
Pampering is an expression of self-honor, self-love, and positive self-regard, all qualities we hope to cultivate in ourselves as a result of the teachings and practice of yoga.
When I was healing from a big ugly breakup that ended in betrayal, my soul was wounded and my self-esteem was in the garbage. I remember my teachers and guides encouraging me to rub my feet with balms and oils every night before bed while chanting mantras as a way to nourish and remind myself that I was loved.
In a culture increasingly focused on the news inside our smartphones and tablets, we’ve started to trade the time we once had for self-care in favor of what’s happening on social media or the slew of emails we must answer.
But if you can remember how divine it is to feel nurtured, to have moist skin, to smell lovely, and to relax, than surely pampering and self-care is more compelling than your screen!
Yoga is also about longevity. It’s about maintaining a healthy body temple that can be your vehicle to serve others, long into your older years. Pampering for me is not only about spas and face creams - it can be as simple as giving my attention to an injured shoulder on a daily basis with icing, stretches, and muscle gel so it doesn’t progress or get worse.
There. You have no reason to feel guilty now. Get on that pampering routine, (it’s mother’s day this weekend, so get your mom in on the fun too!) and the results will show in the way that you shine and offer more to the world.
Bio: Amy Ippolitiis known for bringing yoga to modern-day life in a genuine way through her intelligent sequencing, clear instruction, and engaging sense of humor. She shares her passion for yoga, health, and earth conservation with her writings for Yoga Journal, Yoga International, Mantra Magazine, Mind Body Green, prAna Stories, and Elephant Journal. She has appeared on the covers of Yoga Journal and Fit Yoga Magazine and has been featured in Self Magazine, New York Magazine, Allure (Korea), and Newsweek and on the front page of Yahoo. A teacher on YogaGlo, she is a pioneer of advanced yoga education, co-founding, 90 Monkeys, an online and in-person school that has enhanced the skills of yoga teachers and studios in 65 countries. She is the co-author of the new book,The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga.