Vitality Pristine Self-Care: A Guide to Loving Yourself You are worthy. By Nicole Harris Embrace your personal journey and learn self-care rituals at a Wanderlust Festival this year. More Info | Lineup | Get Tickets A wise friend recently shared her thoughtful intention with me: “I’m taking pristine care of myself.” The lover of words stirred in my bones. Pristine self-care. Ohhh. Why did that concept give me chills? Pristine (adjective): 1. In its original condition; belonging to the earliest period or state 2. Not spoiled, corrupted, or polluted; pure; clean and fresh as if new After looking up the definition of pristine, my yogi soul joined the contemplation. Original condition? Earliest state? What if we all spent more time loving ourselves back to that space? A Mirror Meditation Set an intention. It’s a new day. A fresh day. A pristine day. Wake up every morning and remember and acknowledge your intention. Pristine self-care. Look in the mirror as you contemplate the word “pristine.” Feel the power of that word. What concepts float into your awareness? Original. Earliest state of being. Unspoiled. Uncorrupted. Pure. Clean. That’s you. And if you can’t feel it in that moment, that’s OK too. It still exists. Believe you are worthy of pristine self-care. Let go of self-judgment. Look at your body in the mirror with fresh eyes, not eyes worn from the world. See a body no longer shadowed by some impossible standard of society. Suspend the critical voice that lives in your mind. Observe with the eyes of love. Find gratitude. Remember all this body has done for you. All the years the heart has kept beating—working tirelessly in your favor. Recall the wounds and injuries your body tenderly healed. Thank your body for sensations sent to warn you of pain or danger. Revisit the sensations delivered in a moment of joy. Observe the vessel of being with deep reverence. Feel. Close your eyes. Notice how your body is serving you right now. Breathing. Heart beating. Nerves firing. All supporting your life. The body holds your spark of existence in this physical world. This divine machine perfectly and effortlessly carries out all necessary functions and movements. Moving Into the World After starting the day with this meditative intention, how can we transition pristine awareness and love into actionable self-care? By observing the yogic Niyama (discipline) of saucha. Saucha combines cleanliness, purity, and sacredness. To fully embrace saucha practice with devotion and self-love, make the care of yourself a sacred action. This purifying action is a gift to your body and your higher self. Below are some ideas to get you started. External saucha: Clean, love, and care for your physical body. Think spring cleaning. Organize your surroundings. Simplify. Perhaps clean out your car, your desk, or your refrigerator. Treat food as sacred fuel. Choose foods that are pure as an offering to your body. Gift your body a full night of sleep to reset after a long day. Dress yourself with loving care in clothes that make you feel good. Internal saucha: Begin to move the practice of saucha inward with deep, yogic breathing. Coordinate cleansing breaths with deep twists in your asana practice. After clearing and resetting the physical body, move into a state of self-reflection. Observe any toxic thoughts or emotions that have begun creeping into your life. Where have you allowed negative thinking? Where have you judged? Where have you been self-defeating? Use the breath to release and cleanse your body-mind from these patterns. At least for this moment, be at peace. Finally, it’s a practice. Love with pristine self-care everyday. You’re worth it. — Outer truth-seeking journalist turned inner truth-seeking yogi, Nicole Harris now writes freelance and teaches yoga. Her practice on the mat began in Minnesota in 2011 and eventually led her to teaching in Florida. Her true passion is to cultivate awareness and live from that honest, real space as much as possible. She finds her quickest ways to get there are through nature, adventure, and travel. The deepest way is through a meditative yoga practice.