What is Self-Care

Self-care is a buzz word that I hear being used to describe a variety of activities. My recent search of #selfcare on instagram revealed over 9 million posts. The current top posts include “how to get a boyfriend, favorite manicure color, eyebrow shapes and weight loss tips for lazy people”. This differs dramatically from what I consider self-care, so I consulted my trusty dictionary.

“The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.” - Oxford Dictionary

There is nothing wrong with maintaining your looks or improving your relationships, but as a yoga teacher and ayurvedic practitioner, I offer a much broader variety of self-care practices. Wellness needs vary from person to person and shifts are often necessary based on the season and individual constitution (including vikriti - state of imbalance). With the cool winds of fall, many people experience an imbalance of the vata dosha (air and space elements). Signs of vata imbalance include bloating, gas, constipation, nervousness, fatigue and dryness of the skin. Ayurveda and yoga offer warming and nurturing self-care practices that can help return a sense of balance.

Diet is a great place to practice self-care and establish balance. Because of the cold, dry nature of the season, I recommend avoiding cold foods, and opting for warm, moist foods that are easy to digest. In ayurveda, we focus on the 6 tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, astringent and bitter) and include them in every meal. In the case of vata imbalance, we can focus on can add a little more sweet, sour and salty tastes.

I recommend establishing a series of daily morning practices as self-care. One item that is a must in my daily routine is drinking hot lemon water. During the summer when my digestion is strong, I use less lemon or switch to lime. Now that fall is here, I recommend using the juice of 1/4 to 1/2 a lemon. You can still have coffee or tea, but start with your hydration practice. If you choose to drink coffee or tea, let it be the bitter taste that accompanies your meal.


Looking for more ways to support your health with yoga and ayurveda? During ayurvedic consultations, we will establish self-care routines that include morning/evening habits, breathing practices, a yoga/movement routines and dietary guidelines tailored to meet your wellness goals.

If you are in the Lancaster area, you can learn more at my Doshas + Dosas Workshop. Those ready to invest in the next level of self-care are invited sign up for Create Karma’s AWE (accessible wellness for everyone) program. 2019 rates are discounted for those who sign up by January 31.

AWEsome Announcement

Many of us have brains that habitually work a bit like an advent calendar.  For every situation, we go to the correctly corresponding number and find a reaction that is safely stored in that space.  We can put ourselves and the world around us in these little compartments, getting the "correct" package out for each situation & reacting in a predetermined manner.  In order to fully realize our own potential, our habitual responses need to be challenged.    

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Much of my own journey to wellness has been through the leadership in wellness program, Create Karma.  It has been a lot of effort to break down the walls of these mental compartments.  It has been a journey of movement, stillness, compassion, connection, strength, mobility and healing.  I have taken steps to define new possibilities for my life,  and helped others to do the same.  

Recently, I was listening to a podcast during my daily commute.  Cate Stillman spoke simple words that stuck with me, "sometimes you have to show up as you want to be seen".  This concept broke my compartmentalized brain wide open.  Not only could each of us define our own possibilities, literally anything was possible.  This was an awakening that took 2 years of learning to manifest.  All we need to do is realize when we are at our best and take action by showing up as we want to be seen.  I was being held back by the very compartments that I had created to keep me safe.  I began to see immediate changes in how I show up in the world, and I feel amazing.

Because this journey to wellness through Create Karma has meant so much to me, I am excited to lead the all new 2018 AWE program.  AWE is a journal to personal wellness that will allow you to define and explore wellness for yourself.  Experience a series of workshops and learn from amazing wellness leaders from around the country.  Set goals and receive coaching from me as well as support from your peers.  This training is for anyone who wishes to be in learning and community while creating their own plan to wellness.  

If you are ready to take an AWEsome adventure and show up as you want to be, apply now.  Can't wait to see what 2018 has in store!



Beth Martin E-RYT 200, RYT 500, YACEP