What does it mean to practice self-care?

Adulthood is overrated. The length of effects and stress brought about by the sometimes overwhelming responsibilities of adulthood is underestimated. Workload, deadlines, work at home, family relationship, financial responsibilities—the list could go on and on. When you factor in social activities and what social media tells you to consume, you will relish the opportunity to trade places with that baby who has nothing to worry about. But that’s next to impossible. 

Especially these days. We wake up each day not knowing exactly what to expect. There’s good news and bad news and we are all on an emotional roller coaster ride. Our bodies and brains are adversely affected by stress, fear, and anxiety. And chronic stress can create long-term health issues.

But of course, there’s a way to be at peace with yourself and the world we are in—embrace the numerous responsibilities but focus on what is essential. And this includes self-care. Yes, self-care, believe it or not!


So, what really is self-care?

More formally, self-care is “a multidimensional, multifaceted process of purposeful engagement in strategies that promote healthy functioning and enhance well-being.” It is vital for building resilience toward those stressors in life that we can’t eliminate.

Self-care is a general term that describes everything you do deliberately for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. By that, many of us overlook this very important ‘responsibility’. And this is why ‘deliberately’ is one of the most important words in the definition. We need to be conscious of our well-being before we can achieve true self-care.

It can start from very simple acts or habits, like not checking emails at night when you know it would affect your sleep or bigger things like going for a vacation or booking a massage.


And why is it important?

Is it true that self-care borders to being selfish? Hmmm, well what’s so wrong about pleasing yourself (as long as you don’t undermine anyone in the process)? So, that’s a big NO. This is not about doing something at the expense of the other. But in fact, it is about doing something to enable you to actually do more of the other. When we pay attention to our well-being, we are not considering our needs alone. We are reinvigorating ourselves so that we can be the best version of ourselves for the people around us. Like a mother finding the time to rest the body and mind or do an evening self-care routine so she will have a richer self to take care of her child.

Self-care encourages us to maintain a healthy relationship with ourselves so that we can transmit the positive energy created on to others. 

How to practice it?

But self-care isn’t just about a one-time trip to the massage therapist or vacation. It is best practiced with consistency. Like a small evening routine to make you feel rested when you wake up and face another day. You can also add a few bigger steps during the weekend or every other week or so. The key here is not waiting for yourself to reach body and mind fatigue before doing something but regularly and consistently unloading the negatives to make space for the positive. To consistently build on small habits and steps to create a sturdier, happier version of yourself.


What’s the best way to do that?

There is a lot of stuff online that could give you ideas. And it’s always more fun to find someone or a buddy to do those things together. But always choose the best feeling path. What motivates you and inspires you is different than the person next door. So look for the things that make you feel alive.

At the end of it all, every creature on Earth, including us, human beings, have limitations. And self-care is simply about reminding us to recognize and respect those boundaries while living our best lives.


selfcare is bullshit

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]How often do you see people treating themselves to a massage or a pedicure all in the name of selfcare.. Of course, self-care can mean different things to different people, but somehow over time, it has become a simple beauty treatment, rather than something that can refuel and revitalize you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]I used to describe my non-yogic work as being a “self-love and care coach,” but now I can barely stand how the term has evolved. Self-care is not about expecting yoga sessions, massages or goji berries to correct the injustices of our economic system, sexism, racism, all of the other -isms. And it’s certainly not about pedicures. It shouldn’t be a momentary escape from your life so that you can get back to making a soul-sucking situation slightly more tolerable. It also shouldn’t be seen as selfish or self-indulgent or even optional; it’s essential, to you and your wellbeing, if you’re going to get anything done in this world in a sustainable way.​

One thing we can all agree on is that we all have busy lives

– rushing from home to school drop-offs to work, meetings, study, dinners and so on.. And so when we finally find a moment in our week that is free to do as we please, it is essential to be more mindful about how we choose to spend this time.

Ayurvedic Cleanse - # selfcare is bullshit

We’ve believed the myth of self-care for too long. True self-care is embodying self-respect. This means you have to get to know yourself to speak your truth and begin living your values. It’s taking care of yourself in the same way that you’d want someone you love to care for themselves. Now this will require some extra time to thoughtfully decide on which kinds of practices will lead to resilience, strength and joy in your life. 

At the end of a long week at work,

you might be looking forward to the weekend, when you finally have a day off to watch a movie, go to the hair salon or indulge in a fancy dinner. However, embodying self-respect might mean choosing not to fall into these selfcare patterns and instead spend more time in nature, meditating, going to a yoga class, hanging out with your bestie, your kids or your partner, or even just alone.​

We are all different and self-care is different to everyone, so first of all we should get to know ourselves to discover how we should be spending our time and what is essential to take care of ourselves. For some of you, this might mean focusing on body-care – adjusting your diet, ditching the sugar and eating more plant-based foods. It might mean creating a rock-solid morning routine that gets you confident and ready each day to do your best work. For others, it might mean focusing on your mental-care – quitting an old belief or pattern that doesn’t fit your lifestyle anymore. It could be as simple as resting when you’re tired or changing your mindset that rest is not something you have to earn.​

For me, I discovered that self-care is about striving less and appreciating more. Honouring my ‘being’ as much as my ‘doing’. And while I’ve found this hard (because so much of my identity is wrapped up in accomplishing things), I’ve felt an undeniable rightness about it that reverberates within me. And the best part of all is that the benefits of my selfcare go beyond me. I’m more present for my husband, my daughter, my dogs, and of course my clients and community – a sentiment I hear back all the time. We have more to give when we’re living from a place of deep alignment.

​So what’s one step you could take right now in the direction of embodying self-respect, for real?​

Creating Space is a program that works as an incubator for personal growth, starting with some core habits that yogis, sages and contemporary researchers agree are key for health, happiness and resilience. If you don’t know what truly mean selfcare for yourself, then our community can help you to discover this.

The next round starts in February, so now’s the time to get on it.

Go on, treat yourself!


Self-care : The biggest secret

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]A new series on Netflix which shows the applied knowledge of Marie Kondo on clearing our living spaces is yet one more acknowledgement that our lives have become cluttered.  From smartphones to social media, to detox diets and beyond, many of us are drowning in a deluge of products and trends that compete for our attention.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]It seems that we are under constant pressure to improve ourselves, our lives and the way we live through yet more and more wellness products. I recently read in an article in the NY Times about procrastination, “It’s almost like you have this moral imperative — if you’re not trying to improve, you’re failing at some level.”

So, how can we cut out the noise and instead, sink that one step deeper into our own innate wisdom, a step that will bring deep healing rather than simply racing to keep up with each and every new ‘wellness’ trend?

By taking care of ourselves and cultivating a healthier mind and body, we are better able to enjoy life more fully. Our relationships with others also benefit, we become clearer about the things that we love and our own personal ‘calling’ (dharma) is revealed.

Let me be clear: spirituality and wellness are not the same things. The promises described above can only result from following a spiritual path. Although tempting, a wellness path means to remove only the stalk from the root of the malaise. It can only provide some temporary relief.

Most of us are familiar with various ‘wellness’ treatments on the market, eg Ayurvedic massage, a gym-based yoga membership or perhaps an Ayurvedic bath with more chemicals than can be digested. Too often, these simply serve to alleviate the symptoms in the short-term but don’t provide any real substantial healing.

It is true that we all have to start somewhere. And certainly, those free yoga classes, easy gym memberships and other wellness products can be a first step in the right direction. At the same time, it is important to be wary of the whole marketing-led wellness industry. For more inspiration on this, see Dana G’s latest article ‘The self-care paradox‘. True healing asks us to cut out the noise for real.

My teacher would often say, ‘We tend to overrate the mind and intellect. While they have a place in our lives we give them far more credit then they deserve.’ In my own teaching, I often advise students to beware the monkey mind.

After more than 2 decades of practising Hatha yoga, I can confirm that it is a path that teaches one gently to turn inwards, with no short cuts or self-deception. It curtails over-dependence on the everyday mind and intellect by asking that we open to the wisdom of the body and all its layers /shadows.

What do I mean when I speak of those layers/shadows?

In both Yoga and Ayurveda, a person is viewed as having different layers through which we act.

There are five of these layers:

  • the physical body,
  • the energetic body,
  • the mental body (lower mind),
  • the intellectual/ intuitive body (higher mind)
  • and the bliss body.

In Sanskrit, these are known as the Annamaya Kosha, Pranamaya Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Vijnanamaya kosha and Anandamaya Kosha.

In the modern world, we have achieved much through psychology by becoming more willing to listen to the body and to the emotions.  However, this approach only just scratches the surface.

To access our intuition (Vijnanamaya Kosha), it is essential that we develop self-trust and -love and a way of quietening the mind so that we can hear the inner voice.

It is only when those five layers are balanced and can communicate with each other that our inner wisdom can be revealed. The answers that then come from deep within mean that we no longer feel the need to chase after the latest new wellness fad. This is true healing (to be ‘made whole’).


What practical steps can we take to embark on our path into wisdom?


  1. Spend time each day noticing what the eyes are seeing, the hands are feeling, the skin is touching. Our senses connect us to the world. To spend even a few moments each day being clear of what we are tasting, touching, hearing and smelling is a way of noticing how we perceive the world.
  2. When making a decision, step back for a moment out of the rational mind and take time to slow down, breathe or even better, practise some yoga and then ask yourself what solution is needed to move forward with ease.
  3. Notice the effects on relationships with other people after your practice – what kind of answers or actions are coming up.
  4. Be clear about where you want to go and establish a goal.


If you want to deepen and connect your sense of intuition, you can get a taste when immersing yourself in a retreat. Maybe you even feel like coming to Greece with me.

Have a look to find more about The Greek Escape Yoga Retreat and make yourself a gift.


Group – What have done for me?

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]I worked as a social worker in my 20s. My friend Ulrike was rather shy in groups. She was often amazed by the ease that allowed me to step in front of people in meetings and training.

I didn’t see the realness of her fears, that could hold such a wonderful woman back so easily from expressing herself and her many talents. While for me, I was ignited instantly in the group using the synergetic energies. I felt transformed.

But for her to speak in front of us was torture, and every meeting was a boot-camp to work her fears. She was determined to overcome her panic to stutter, to be laughed at, to blush, and so she continued to come to the group gatherings. At one point I began to wonder just why she would even do that to herself? It appeared so exhausting to me. But I guess it is the same as someone «less flexible» deciding to go to Yoga classes.

You don’t expect to become the best, you just expect to do something about being rather inflexible. And you go where they know how to flex.

I was part of different groups in my life. In my teens I was integrated in the girl scouts for many years, I joined the Yoga School in Berlin Mitte, where I found many lovely friends, and I have recently joined a more global group setting on the internet, where Yogahealth Coaches are gathering to exchange their experience and support each other.

And in between, there have been times when I found myself without a group, without a community without support to get me sparked and engaged, to be transformed. For a while I can enjoy that space, I rejoice in the loneliness until I touch that feeling of sweet longing. A longing for connection rising inside of me.

Did you know the weight on your bones triples when you shift your stance from two-legged to one-legged? Triple the weight! Not double. It is an amazing experience when you hold your one-legged posture stable. You feel power and concentration, accuracy in the distribution of tension, contraction, and extension.

Being alone has its moments and they deserve to be experienced. But earlier or later I start missing the other leg which allows me to move, to balance the weight within the movement, lighten my stance, lighten myself. And in the end, it is just more natural to stand on both legs, weighing the load of the body evenly, back and forth, left to right, left, right. That’s what I feel a community is. Each one is allowed and free to be themselves entirely and another part is the community. It’s the human nature to connect, we are essentially one part community and one part individuality.

In the community, where each one can find the hold to stand on both legs, we expand our ability to our own weight, our brains get stimulated and build new pathways. A unified field opens that makes learning and integration accessible and more profound. But we also find support and help to stabilize in the one-legged postures.

That force is what calls me to grow into this, to spend my life with like-minded beings, a tribe, a support system. And for this, I want to provide the space for all of us, which we continue to create and maintain every day through practice and dedication small and big scale. I put my foot on the path, one after the other, moving forward on both legs. Honoring each of them but knowing that only the full package, both sides together, make my legs the instrument to move forward.

If you are interested to find more about me and my certifications, follow this link.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]