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Lions Roar : May 2019
and start to rub circles around your ankle. Take your time moving down your Achilles tendon and around your heel. Use one hand to gently flex your toes back and, with the other hand, pull your heel away, stretching the sole of the foot. Interlace your fingers with your toes, as if you were holding hands with them, and slowly circle your foot in both direc- tions, like winding up a toy. Finally, place your other hand over the top of the toe-holding hand and lightly squeeze. Gently release your hands and place your feet together. You will see that one foot looks fresh and pink, flush with circulation. Time to do the other foot and then tuck yourself in for a nice sleep. EACH OF THESE PRACTICES I’ve suggested is easy to do—they don’t require any equipment or expertise and can be done in less than five minutes. All of them integrate body, breath, and mind; they feel good while you are doing them; and when you finish, you will feel better than when you started. Know that if you forget to practice, you can always make a fresh start. One January, I made a New Year’s resolution to do a daily restorative yoga pose for one month. I did it for two days, but on the third day I completely forgot. I didn’t remember it for the entire year, until the following January. Once I realized, I had a good laugh and then re-upped for the last year’s resolution. Anytime is a good time to cultivate a light heart and generosity toward oneself. I also want to encourage you not to make a job out of this practice of self-caring. The idea is not that you must do one or more of these practices every day in order to succeed with self-caring. The idea is that these are all methods for helping you get close to yourself. When you pay kind attention to yourself, noticing when your breathing is too tight or your posture is too loose, you develop a thread of awareness around your own energetic habits. As you naturally become more familiar with what is actu- ally nourishing for you, because it’s easy and it feels good, your self-caring practice will grow. ♦ LION’S ROAR | MAY 2019 41