photo taken last winter
Last night, a gloomy and cozy evening, I was snuggled in bed watching YouTube videos. I had just eaten pizza, popcorn, and candy *cough cough period temptations*… not feeling my best! I watched many videos on skincare products and then got into videos on healthy foods for not only healthy skin, but a healthy internal body. I learned foods that help relieve menstruation symptoms and even pressure points to do the same. I was surprised to hear that difficult workouts can actually make cramps and bloating worse. Getting the heart rate up is beneficial, but a calming exercise like yoga can reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation can minimize abdominal cramping and lower back pain which in-turn makes for a happier me during this time of the month!
I usually run a few miles every-other morning, but I decided to take this week to see what yoga can do for me and to me. I know this will be difficult because I truly don’t feel like I’m exercised unless I run at least a mile and proceed to tone/lift. My goal for this week is to do yoga for 30-60 minutes every morning (I may or may not hit the gym in the afternoon!).
I was inspired to do this because body-positivity is something I struggle with. I think of myself poorly if I don’t make an effort to vigorously workout numerous times throughout the week. I’m challenging myself to love my body mentally, not physically. This inspiration came from a YouTuber I found this morning, Caroline Williams. After searching her channel, I found a one-week series called Meet Jesus on Your Yoga Mat. How perfect!? She kept referring to loving yourself and caring for yourself because that’s what Jesus wants you to do.
I firmly believe God has a time for everything. He timed Caroline’s thoughts and videos to line up with when my mind makes the decision to go outside of my comfort zone. He has unlocked the door but He wants me to open it. Here I am, Lord. Thank you for placing this video on my screen, for opening my mind to other ways of worship, for helping me love myself. I meet you on my yoga mat, every morning. Join me as I begin this journey of mind-body mornings!
Day 1 Reflection:
“1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” – Genesis 1:1-5
If it isn’t obvious yet, I feel humbled and joyous that I somehow came across these videos! After searching “yoga for when you’re on your period” to finding Christian-led yoga routines. Day 1 reminded me of God’s creations as Caroline read a section from Genesis. She discusses how yoga can be a way of welcoming the Holy Spirit into our hearts and minds, even into our body. Caroline compares letting go of a muscle to letting go of what’s on our minds. Relax your shoulders, surrender your to-do list. Challenge yourself and give your struggles up to God.
Think of how you will love yourself today.
What does loving yourself look like today?
*Slight disclaimer: This was written on Oct. 8th. and continued each day until Oct. 11th. The 12th-14th (weekend) I did not have access to wifi. Day 5 started up on Oct. 15th.