Practicing Love through Self-Care

Reflections from Balanced Rock’s Yoga & Ayurveda Weekend

Catherine Wortmann receiving grounding ear oiling treatment at Balanced Rock’s Ayurveda Intensive weekend
photo credit: Heather Sullivan

Words from Heather Sullivan and Catherine Wortmann

What are ways you nourish yourself?

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be Hallmark.  Why not use this or any excuse to practice love, loving kindness, and self-love?

Last weekend, Balanced Rock hosted its Ayurveda Intensive module of the 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training. In this training we explored “The Study of Life” (Ayur-veda). Through this lens of the world, all things are created of the 5 Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether/Space). According to Ayurveda, all things in the universe are comprised of these elements, humans, being one of those things.  

We looked at our daily routines and how we may adjust some of our habits and tendencies to bring ourselves more into balance with the natural world and natural/seasonal rhythms.

A student from the training, Catherine Wortmann, writes a great piece on how she brought her studies home with her to integrate and not have yoga/Ayurveda practices be separate from her home life:

Words by Catherine Wortmann, earning her 300-hr RYT through Balanced Rock


How is it going? How is your first day of routine? 

This surprised me. I pull into my driveway at 5:46pm. I have an appetite and look forward to dinner. Inside, nothing is cooking. My husband suggested we go out. My vata (air/ether elements) brain starts to panic because I have been traveling for four days. My pitta (fire/water elements) brain starts to get mad and judge. I take a breath before I speak. 

Grabbing my Balanced Rock binder I open to Eliza’s recipe for Kitchari. (easily digestible split mung bean and rice dish) “How about this, and do you want to help”? 

My son Lucian (4), and my husband poured the spices and stirred the pot. We made it incorrectly and didn’t quite have all the ingredients, but it was delicious. The kids loved making it their own with toppings. It was at least made with love. 

After the boys went to bed I showed Jamie some of the pages on doshas (constitutions) from our binder. He laughed and said “I’m kapha!” (earth/water elements).  I know that he has pitta too because he was an athlete. He’s competitive and motivated more than a true kapha. I showed him how to do a hot oil foot rub – for himself. He loved that. This morning he said his feet felt good and he was looking forward to doing it again tonight. 

This morning I drank 32 oz. of warm water. Then I scraped my tongue. I finished my oral routine and then drank the water. Lucian woke up, then Barrett. I told them I was going to meditate and do some yoga, and asked them if they wanted to join. Making our way to the living room I set out a blanket and two bolsters. Barrett (6) sat on his bolster directly in front of me facing the same direction as me. We chanted Om. Then we chant the Gayatri Mantra and he tried his best to follow along. Then we sat, in silence. He got up when he was done and left me to practice. The entire time Lucian played quietly with LEGOs. 

This experience has proven to me that I can be the anchor. I can continue to create my sacred space while coexisting with young humans. 

How self-nourishment keeps us balanced

Catherine found a way to make this work in her life and her timeframe.  

That weekend while we were at the training, I was receiving texts during break about the wildfires in Jerseydale and the windstorms in Yosemite and the High Country reeking havoc…

How are you in Midpines? People were asking.

We had oil in our ears all morning. I feel really relaxed, I thought.

This struck me as the elements and world around us were literally swirling apart and burning up, we were relaxed and nourished in our practices.  This is why these practices (daily yoga, mediation, relaxation, study, self-care) are so important.

When our outside environments are out of control, we can stay calm and centered and execute what we need to, in those moments.

A Journal Prompt for You:

Proper nourishment is such a key part to health and balance.

How do you nourish yourself? Take a few minutes to jot this down in a journal.

There are so many ways and we are all different: For some it is exercise, being out in nature, literally through food, through music, through art, through spending time with family/friends…and the list goes on.

Share with us your nourishing practices! Comment below or post your practices on social media and tag us. IG: @balancedrockorg #balancedrockyoga #yosemiteyoga — we’ll share your story & tips on our page!

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda? Join us this summer on our 4-Day Yoga & Ayurveda Backpacking Retreat in Yosemite! Led by Ayurvedic practitioners, professional yoga instructors and experienced wilderness guides, this trip will delve into “the study of life” while exploring Yosemite’s incredible backcountry landscape. Delicious and nourishing Ayurvedic meals will be provided, and this trip is accessible to all levels with tuition assistance available. Register now!

Author Resources:

Check out what the authors of this blog post are doing locally for health and wellbeing:

  • Catherine Wortmann, Founder of CWhealing and Wellness Ambassador for Basecamp Wellness in Groveland, CA. Find her on IG: @CWhealing
  • Heather Sullivan, Co-Founder of Balanced Rock. On the web:  | IG: @balancedrockorg | FB: Balanced Rock Foundation

Leave a Comment