Recently, a friend and I were mulling over the differences between self-love and self-care. I think there can be so many ways to describe the differences and similarities between the two concepts, and I'd love to hear from you.
Personally, SELF LOVE for me has underlying notes and resonance of self-respect, self-advocacy, self-awareness, self-confidence, identity, self-worth, self-connection. The constant will to put in the work to make sure I'm not sliding down a slippery slope. The consistent check-in to make sure I'm forgiving myself when things are hard, and I make mistakes. I hope this makes sense.
SELF CARE is a little different. It covers things that are more emotional, perhaps subjective: like cleanliness, undertaking holistic practices, eating habits, creating balance so I don't feel like I'm missing out on something (like ice cream!). It's getting a pedicure, practicing yoga, singing at the top of my lungs when my favorite songs come on the radio. It's dancing with joy because it feels good. It's wanting my house to look nice (well, as nice as a construction zone can look, lol). It's splurging a little to enjoy life - taking my daughter to see a theatre performance, and going with my husband to see live music together. It's slowing down and taking the time to look around, take in the world. It's what might bring me joy in the present moment.
As you can see, there's lots of cross-over for me, but I liken self-love with the inner world, where self-care might address the needs of the outer world. The outer world's focus for me is finding JOY, and joy feeds my inner world. I think that's where the two converge.
Anyhow, these are my thoughts. I'd love to hear yours. :)
As summer settles in, I've been busy as always getting caught up on projects and business endeavors (like blog posts!). I recently had a research organization - Consumersadvocate.org - contact me in regards to their findings about yoga mats on the market. It's fascinating stuff, to say the least. In it they compiled information about price, environmental-friendliness, durability, longevity, etc. These are all things I HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY. I wish this research had been around when I was first figuring things out - I would have saved so much money.
Before you dive into the details, here's my two cents: I have always loved Jade Mats for their low environmental impact, a focus on social advocacy, overall sustainability. Their grip is fantastic in heat and with loads of sweat; Jade color choices are beautiful, and they always just felt like a solid mat. That is, until I began practicing at home 4-6 days a week... I honestly don't remember how many Jade Mats I've gone through over the years but I can tell you I've likely spent thousands of dollars. Ugh. I justified it because I've got to admit - I love a new mat. But when my last Jade started falling apart - literally disintegrating into millions of little rubber pieces 6 months in, and sliding all over the floor when I practiced jumping forward and back (because, Ashtanga) - I knew I needed to break off my obsession. I'm sorry to Jade Mats - I truly am - but I simply cannot endorse them at this point, at least as a practitioner who uses the mat daily.
One of the studios I work for sells Manduka Mats. For the longest time I wasn't willing to give them a try. Though out of desperation I purchased one, after one serious practice where I felt like I was sliding all over the place and had little purple Jade Mat pieces attached to my sweaty body. I got the new mat online in a rush, and was super excited when it came to my door. I chose a turquoise Manduka Pro-lite for their self-proclaimed 'lifetime guarantee' (and awesome color!) and haven't looked back since. It was reasonably priced, about $65. (Jades are usually $70-$90, by comparison.)
I've had this Manduka Pro-lite for a little over two years now and it's my favorite mat. I use it almost every day and it still looks AND feels brand new. The only thing that took some time was the wearing down of an initial finish that made my hands slide a little. I'm not particularly sweaty, but I imagine this would be a problem for students who tend to sweat a lot during practice. I haven't taken this mat outside of my house - it is my designated house mat - so I can't say how good it is at a hot vinyasa practice.
Here's the link about the research on yoga mats through Consumer Advocates. It's not just limited to information on Jade and Manduka - there's also Lifeforme, Suga, Tranquility Essentials, and more. Reading through it made me realize there's so many preferences out there, and just as many mats being created. I'm now curious about the Suga mats, although I'd love to try it before buying one. (Suga, I'd LOVE to try one, hint hint.)
Enjoy, and let me know what you think.