My yoga journey to self-compassion

In a world deprived of compassion, my therapist told me last year: "If the world does not give you compassion, give some to yourself."

Funnily enough, being raised in a culture of self-sacrifice and care for others as primordial, I was not sure what she meant by having compassion for oneself, so I googled it. The first image which popped up was of a girl hugging herself, which reminded me of one of my favourite yoga poses 'the easy pose hug and twist' and so I embarked on Adriene 30 days Yoga Journey.

Last year, as I started my very first yoga journey, I embraced a pescatarian diet, which is optional, but a great way to undertake your yoga journey healthily. The first few days were not the easiest. While working full time, it was difficult to come home tired or stressed from an 8-hour shift and give another 20 to 30 minutes of focus and energy to a yoga practice.

However, Adriene is a great cheerleader, a soft and encouraging yogi that will take you to the end of the journey with ease. She taught me that showing up is the most important step and at the end of each practice, she always thanks her audience for showing up to the session. It was not the easiest but so worth it for my soul, body and mind.

Adriene explains that "all yoga journeys are different, it just requires the very first base of your practice: showing up for yourself".

Salutation pose before starting yoga

I practised yoga last year, but it was nothing remotely similar to the path I went down when I got back to my mat this year - I found practising yoga easier. It flowed naturally with my body, just like in harmony with my soul, and I found myself re-embracing my faith in God.

My other favourite Yoga pose: Child pose

In the middle of my journey, I felt so much more confident and relaxed. It also allowed me to create a better sleep pattern and a simpler outlook on life. I was more productive at work and less weary at the end of my day. Yoga not only helps you physically, but emotionally and spiritually. It creates a connection with your inner self and the universe. I developed a better understanding of my body, my emotions and the interconnection between those, as threaded with one another. As it is rightly said by B.K.S. Lyengar, a fervent yogi, "Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame."

Shockingly, I found myself feeling like giving up towards the last few sessions and found it harder to push through it. The ending was near but the poses became quite tricky towards the end. It was becoming physically challenging and there was also a feeling of, "if this all over, then what now?"

However, I pushed through the thoughts and persevered until day 30.

Completing this journey was rewarding. Being able to challenge me, to finish something even if it did not look perfect, was my first achievement of 2022. Physically, I felt lighter but stronger emotionally. I am now grounded and ready to tackle another year and feel spiritually closer to my higher self, ready to take on the world!

My last practice was on the 19th of January this year and as a reward for my efforts, I gifted myself a precious piece of self-care - the Keys Soulcare products. This is one of my favourite skincare products. Not only because it was created by the 15-time Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Alicia Keys, but Keys Soulcare are fabulous products to invest in for your self-care.

The products have amazing affirmations at the back of them to nourish your soul, and they are cruelty-free, vegan and smell amazing! Try it after your regular yoga sesh, just the candle itself is worth it.

Self-compassion is at the centre of our society now more than ever. It has been on the rise since the pandemic. The self-care market has bloomed; however, we all know that in our current world, it is crucial to preserve our mental health and to bring peace into our souls. Therefore, it is not a marketing strategy, it is a real tool to keep our lives balanced. We should all pursue a life full of loving moments towards ourselves.