Saturday 30th March
Join Vanessa Joy & Natalie Owen on Saturday 30th March for an afternoon that promises to be both two hours of me-time, as well as an opportunity to explore the concept of selfcare, and different practices that you can add to your own toolkit.
Q: What can people expect from the Selfcare Staycation?
V&N: We got very excited when we came up with the title ‘Selfcare Staycation’! We were looking for a way to convey that the workshop is both an experience in itself, a standalone event - two glorious hours to take time for yourself, leaving the rest of life outside the door for a little while. But we also intended for the workshop to be an opportunity to learn and explore - to consider selfcare and the role it plays personally, and to provide people with accessible experiences they could take back into everyday life to utilise when needed.
Q: How did this workshop come about?
V: Nat and I had so many conversations about tapping into subtler practices that brought us into our parasympathetic nervous systems, and how pivotal that was for our wellbeing. Not just when practicing but using them actively during our days to navigate life. We noticed the significant knock-on effects the practices had in other areas of our lives.
N: Yes, in particular, I noticed myself getting tidier - if only my mum had realised that the key to my messy teenage bedroom was a regular savasana practice! :) We started to refer to the feeling as a ‘parasympethetic paradise’ which was the first kernel of an idea that led to this workshop.
Q: What’s the parasympathetic nervous system?
N: Broadly speaking, the nervous system has two sides - the sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic can be thought of as our doing side, and is also the side that is activated when we get stressed (you’ll likely have heard the term fight, flight or freeze). The parasympathetic is the calming side, the balance, (you may have heard it referred to as rest & digest). Historically human stressors were short lived - maybe the appearance of a predator, or an invading tribe. The stressor would be dealt with - either by fighting, flying (running away) or freezing (playing dead) and then the stress response would pass, the parasympathetic side would then activate in response. Modern stressors however are a little different. We are in less immediate, life-threatening danger, but they are often longer lived. The arrival of social media and the 24 news cycle are often given as examples.
As a result, our sympathetic nervous systems can become chronically activated, so part of the aim of the workshop is to give people experience of practices that help to stimulate the parasympathetic side to provide some more balance. If you’ve ever come out of a deep savasana, a yin or nidra and felt grounded, calmer, like everything has slowed down a little, you are in what Vanessa and I would call a ‘Parasympathetic Paradise’.
Q: What are your favourite selfcare practices?
V: Yoga Nidra is my go-to! When I’m up teaching at 7am and then again in the evening until 9:30pm it’s dropping out for 20 minutes during the day and listening to a Nidra that gets me through.
N: Savasana is definitely my fave. In a bizarre turn of events, I spent the day following the Brexit referendum result in a day-long savasana training, and without a doubt, during the weekend that followed I felt calmer and less reactive than I would have been otherwise. My most important practice however is tidying - we’re both big believers that Selfcare isn’t all bubblebaths and massage, it’s also committing to doing the boring stuff that helps maintain our overall wellness.
Join Vanessa & Natalie on Saturday 30th March 3:30pm to explore what selfcare means to you, and the practices that work for you. Book here