By Skyler Myers, CAS, PKS, RYT, CMT, CDVSAC
As students and practitioners of Ayurveda, you are well aware of self care as a disease prevention tool, but have you considered how it could prevent destructive relationships? In my work bringing yoga, massage and Ayurveda into the domestic violence women’s shelters, I have seen the seeds of self care begin to root in just a few women who will prioritize self care time.
The majority of them are, of course, overwhelmed, but all of them also believe they are not worth two to five minutes a day, everyone else’s needs must be taken care of first, their child, their boss if they have a job, or teachers if they are a student. Low self worth begins in childhood; many kids are told they don’t deserve what they have, or if they are beaten or molested by people they love, they often grow up to be victims. And sometimes, when they grow up and have the power of an adult or parent over a child, the cycle begins again.
Possibly the greatest gift I gained from studying Ayurveda is the personal practice of it. Living by example, I can show the women I work with, the men in Anger Management, and at an Addiction therapy center, that there is hope for a great life after abuse, addiction and depression. How many women could you support to choose a healthier relationship by feeling better in her skin, whether teaching herself abhyanga or how to make kitchari? When we feel better, we attract higher vibration partners and life circumstances.
One Billion Rising is a call for action by Eve Ensler, author of Vagina Monologues. There will be thousands of events around the world on Valentine’s Day, where women and the men who love us will dance in the streets to end violence against women and children. This may be a great time to get involved, offer to speak about self care as a basis for self respect, or just ask to have an information table. Whether as an Ayurvedic practitioner and/ or concerned citizen, your participation may help the consciousness shift in your community where women remember our strengths in cooperation, talking and listening, conscious, elevated sexuality, where we see fulfilled, compassionate men and other women to not feel the need to resort to violence again, and see healthier relationships with respectful boundaries! Community building is violence prevention. Check out onebillionrising.org or if you are near the College, see onebillionrisingnevadacounty.org.