5 Tips to Cultivate Self-Compassion

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Can we honestly say that we know what compassion is? What does it mean to you?
My journey of compassion through yoga over the years has been quite an interesting experience. To me, compassion is understanding and embracing someone in their deepest pain and sorrow. My thought-provoking question is: What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion is a topic of discussion in the partner yoga classes that I teach to support women emotionally, mentally and physically. We support each other through major transitions in our lives, whether it’s self-love or perhaps a conversation to keep each other motivated. Having these discussions after a yoga session is beyond powerful and can inspire change.

Regardless of the topic or story being shared, everyone could use a little kindness and support in life. Understand that having compassion is not only healthy for our souls; it gently heals wounds and erases scars too.
Here are 5 tips to cultivate more self-compassion:

  1. Always take time for yourself no matter what. The most important person in your life is you!
  2. Create quiet time to allow your thoughts to settle. This will release stress and anxiety.
  3. Surround yourself with people who share and celebrate love. The people you surround yourself with are a reflection of you!
  4. Make time for those who need your support. You will receive the same support in return!
  5. Laugh at frustration and embrace patience – why not?!

I believe that we all should practice compassion. Not only when others are in need, but also for ourselves.

Compassion is a level of sympathy so deep that it inspires action to alleviate pain.

During a yoga or meditation session, ask yourself the following questions:
Am I supportive of myself when I fall down in life?
Am I motivating myself to be and do my best?
Am I showing myself love when needed?

Self-compassion is not a state of being – it is a practice. Self-compassion is not a destination, but a journey. Of course this isn’t an overnight transition – it requires patience over time.
Find a quiet place away from the world and take the opportunity to sit in lotus and close your eyes for just a moment. Relax your shoulders and take four deep breaths. Ask yourself, what could I do to be kinder to myself? What activities could I participate in that will allow me to be creative? What could I incorporate into my daily routine that would help me find joy? As we embrace this moment of asking how we can gently change our lives, we will have a better understanding and connection not only with ourselves but with others as well.
Cultivating self-compassion is a process that may not be all gumdrops and butterflies, but ultimately, the positive shift brings with it unparalleled rewards.

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Denita Austin is a talented author, yoga coach, speaker and mentor. Denita’s greatest passion is to bring about a positive transformation for women, both physically and emotionally, by creating a safe space to release anxieties and disrupt deep-seated issues that tend to weigh us down and slow progress in spiritual development. Learn more about her work at DenitaAustin.com


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