My yoga mat goes with me everywhere! And that means...it gets dirty.
Sweat and grime tend to multiply in the summer. I'm expecting to encounter my fair share of each in these hot summer months (especially at The Wild Goose Festival this July)! I have been asked a lot recently about my favorite yoga mat spray. So, thought I would share an easy DIY (do-it-yourself) recipe for cleaning your yoga mat. A quick search of the internet pulls up many options for making your own cleaner. My favorite recipe is below and shares not only why this recipe is good for your body (germs on your mat, means germs on your body) but also good for your spirit!
Yoga Mat Cleaner (for Body and Spirit)
Combine your ingredients in your glass bottle (the glass is important for storage of the essential oils), shake, spray your mat, wipe down or air dry, and enjoy!
Benefits of Lavender:
antiseptic, analgesic, restorative, calmative, sedative, anti-infectious
Benefits of Tea Tree (also known as Melaleuca):
anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant
Beyond cleaning your mat, these oils encourage* security, gentleness, compassion, vitality, clarity, comfort, and emotional balance for your body and your spirit.
*Aromatherapy for the Soul, Valerie Ann Worwood
Sabbath: the seventh day of the week observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening as a day of rest and worship by Jews and some Christians; often observed on Sunday among Christians as a day of rest and worship; a time of rest; abstaining from work
There is simply something about summer that leaves me yearning for quiet, slow, sunny mornings and extra time under the stars late at night. Somehow, exploring Sabbath rest comes more easily in the summer. The days get longer and time seems to slow down, even though my task list, chores, and never ending ideas continue no matter the season. Yet, summer days help me embrace the concept of Sabbath a bit more freely than other times of the year.
I don’t know about you, but my Sabbath time is not often scheduled on one set day of the week as the definition suggests. Since my retreat and workshop work often continues throughout the weekend, it’s challenging to always find Sabbath on Sundays. Many of us work varied hours, and those of us who are caregivers or parents know this type of work cannot be unscheduled on certain days. Those who work in the church or other ministry settings often share with me that Sunday is far from a day in which they abstain from work. Can we, too, discover Sabbath rest and might it be easier than expected in the summer?
Amidst the ongoing duties of life, new rules seem to take effect in the summer for our family. Or, maybe it’s less rules? A teen who calls to stay over and spend the night at his grandmother’s house rather than come home (he knows his room looks like a tornado hit and avoids this duty at all costs), yet I agree. A newsletter that has a deadline, but instead, a yoga mat, some homemade kombucha, and a lovely back porch (from where I cannot escape the loud construction of a new home next door) call more loudly and I easily unplug. And a day that should have involved household cleaning - instead I find myself loading my Kindle with tons of library books. Free fiction and summer - that’s my Sabbath.
Today I sat in silence and wondered - rest and worship come easy for me. Yet why is it sometimes hard to abstain from work? Is it because there are so many great ideas brewing in my creative heart? There are not enough hours, even on a long summer day to tackle everything God has planted inside me (and the stuff I avoid too, like laundry). How do I step away from "work" and lean in to my own soul care? Here are five soul care tips for exploring Summer Sabbath:
This summer I am definitely not tossing my ideas or creative spirit - these are not work. I am exploring Sabbath rest and discovering time apart from work (like my computer screen) more freely. I desire to embrace soaking up the sun, sleeping plenty, keeping safe boundaries for my social media time, savoring my senses, and discovering plenty of silly fun! Will you join me in this and keep me accountable as well?
What does your summer Sabbath look like? How do you make space away from your work? Is that easy or difficult in this season of summer?
By the way, I was inspired to write this post as one of my fellow Upper Room authors, J. Dana Trent, is releasing a book on the topic of Sabbath this fall. I’m excited to dive in (I might just get a sneak preview, one of the perks of “working” alongside her). Yet reading her words will not be work for me. Sabbath, this summer I’m ready to embrace you! Stay tuned for the release of For Sabbath’s Sake!
Write A Poem
by Whitney R. Simpson
Write a poem
to free your spirit
and not be led astray
Listening from within
is the only way
to discover the wisdom
of God today
It isn't found in scrolling
or opinion or polls
God whispers through creation
into your soul
What do you see, hear, feel, notice
around you today?
Let go of the external stimulation
drawing you away
Lean in and listen
only God makes you whole
What's that whisper deep inside
inviting you to stay?
Write a poem
to free your spirit
and not be led astray
Whitney R. Simpson
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Whitney R. Simpson,
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