What is Yogic Self-Care?
1. Yogic Self-Care is firmly rooted in the traditional principles of Yoga.
Yoga has ancient roots and many modern misconceptions. In the West, we typically associate yoga with a set of stretches for physical well-being (asana). Though asana has incredible benefits, focusing on the poses alone would be like eating only the condiments when a much bigger meal is before you. Having studied yoga and kirtan in their place of origin, India, it is Catiebelle’s intent to preserve these traditions by bringing them to her communities in the West with as little alteration as possible.
When sage Patanjali organized the yogic sciences into 196 digestible Sutras (aphorisms) around 400 CE, essentially creating a road-map for the dedicated yogi, he clearly stated that one must be firmly grounded in the first two limbs before progressing on to the deeper postures, breath work, and meditation. The 8 Limbs of Yoga begin with living a yogic lifestyle, embodying the Yamas and Niyamas. The Yamas and Niyamas are the roots of our tree. When we water the roots, the branches in turn with grow.
The Yamas: Social Observances
(Yoga Sutra 2.30)
Ahimsa (non-violence, non-harming, compassion, empathy)
Satya (truthfulness, honesty, non-falsehood)
Brahmacharya (sexual restraint, moderation of sense pleasure, right use of energy)
Aprigraha (non-possessiveness, non-hoarding)
The Niyamas: Self Disciplines
(Yoga Sutra 2.32)
Śaucha (cleanliness, purity, treating the body as a temple)
Santosa (contentment, acceptance, optimism, unattached to the outcome, going with the flow of life)
Tapas (discipline, perseverance, consistency in practice)
Svādhyāya (self study & deep reflection through sacred wisdom literature and sangha)
īśvarapranidhāna (surrender, devotion, reverence, faith)
The simple definition of yoga is found right in the roots of the word itself — yuj, meaning to yolk, join, unite, connect. On the spiritual level, Yoga is the practice of uniting the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness. On the practical level, Yoga is the practice of uniting body, mind, and Soul, (as well at thought, speech, and action) in perfect harmony.
Yoga is the journey of the Self,
through the Self,
to the Self."
– The Bhagavad Gita
2. Yogic Self-Care re-establishes true knowledge of the Self.
Each individual being is a part of the Supreme Soul, a spark of the divine fire. The Self has no birth or death – the Soul is life itself.
Our true Self is Sat Chit Ananada –
truth, consciousness, & bliss.
Yogic Self-Care® is that which awakens us to our eternal identity by dissolving the veils of illusion that lead to misidentification with the impermanent.
Eternal, indestructible, immeasurable, forever in the present, invisible, unchanging, no beginning or end. (Bhagavad Gita 2.17 – 2.25)
Yoga is the intentional resolution of the mind’s activity; of all self-limiting and self-defeating thought patterns and tendencies within our personal energy field. Then, the seer resides in her own natural splendor; the seer abides in her own true form. – Bhavani Maki, Yoga Sutra 1.2 – 1.3
3. Yogic Self-Care provides Care for all aspects of one’s well-being.
Yogic Self-Care® nourishes our (gross) body, our (subtle) energetic body, our mind, and our Soul.
It feeds all 5 of our senses with sattvic impressions to develop a higher taste. (Bhagavad Gita 2.62 – 2.63)
It works with Mother Nature’s cycles and the great elements to restore inner and outer balance.
It is done without attachment to the fruits of one’s actions, free from raga and dvesha.
It honors one's unique nature and aids in one's dharma – your sacred duty and purpose here on earth, in this lifetime. (Bhagavad Gita 3.35 & 18.47)
It is in alignment with one's non-negotiable core values – not just your family's, friends', or cultures' belief structures.
It fosters self-awareness, self-belonging, and self-agency.
It contributes to the collective healing of the whole and is never at the expense of another's well being.
It is somatic, embodied, trauma-informed, matriarchal, accessible to all, and an act of rebellion against oppressive systems.
It brings Joy (deep, inner, self-sourced contentment).
Yogic Self-Care® is focused on empowering women and allies to transform their lives through holistic lifestyle education.
Catiebelle is a Voice Liberation Mentor and seasoned yoga teacher who’s mission in life is to help women discover their brave and authentic voice so they can stand more confidently in their truth. The goal of her teaching is to help facilitate community spaces where others can feel good in their bodies, feel safe to be seen and heard for who they truly are, and feel inspired to re-write their norm and create deep inner paradigm shifts. She is dedicated to rocking the boat of broken systems that keep us asleep, and to platforming voices that are chronically and systemically overlooked.