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Taking My Own Advice

There is a knot that has seemed determined to take up residence in my neck for the past few days. I think it's the result of stress and sleeping on it wrong.

Now, if a friend told me about a knot in their neck causing them a significant degree of discomfort I would take them through a short routine of stretching and myofascial release to help ease it immediately. For some reason, I didn't take the same care and time for myself. (Sound familiar?)

Sure, I snuck in some stretching here and there, but not nearly enough. Until, that is, I made the conscious choice to carve out time for some self-care and made myself do it. (Why is it so easy to give advice rather than take it??)

I took myself through a gentle little stretching sequence and then used the myofascial release balls (think tennis balls, only more dense) to really get into the tissues and muscles of my upper back, shoulder, and neck.

What took about 15 minutes of my time gave me an incredible increase in my range of motion and reduction in pain. Fifteen minutes. I had been complaining about this for 3 days, hoping it would just go away on its own. While it's not completely gone as I write this, I know that another few 15 minute sessions will help tremendously in continuing to ease the tension and work it out.

I know I'm not alone in this phenomenon. When someone else is sick I can offer plenty of my favorite natural remedy options. When I'm sick, I never seem to think of them for myself.

We look out for others and ask them to take time to care for and heal themselves. Yet we push through and often ignore our body's own signals to us. Winter is a beautiful time for turning inward and really trying to listen to what your body needs. Yoga and meditation can be wonderful practices for this. And it is just that ... a practice. Most of us have to re-learn how to listen and understand how our body is communicating and what it's trying to say.

I invite you to find your own practice for turning inward. Is it through movement, breath work, or stillness? Or maybe a blending of all of them. I invite you to play with taking just a few minutes to see if you can feel how your body is communicating with you.

The body uses the language of sensation. What do you feel? Where? Notice what it's like to really pay attention. Kind of fascinating, right? May you take the time to listen and to compassionately care for what you find.


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