Dear Stunning Souls,

The pandemic forced us to do a lot of things, some of them uncomfortable but absolutely necessary. We were put in a vulnerable space where we discovered the differences between wants and needs, the differences between surface level fixups that act like band aids for the moment and bone deep mendings that repaired our broken hearts.

Vulnerability and self-care is something that Azizi Birkeland has spent a long time thinking about. Our latest friend in the #FromWomenToWomen series is a newbie to yoga, she was drawn to the theory, the principles, and the intentionality that yoga introduces to its practitioners. Yoga is a splinter of self-care that she has given herself. “I wanted something gentler than the intensity fitness training I was accustomed to.” She says.

Azizi Birkeland in organic activewear from sustainable yoga clothing brand Isabelle Moon.Azizi wearing Second Skin Bodysuit in Soul Star and Supernova Leggings in Blue Tiger, found a connection with the philosophy and the postures that she experiences through yoga.

Azizi’s personal brand of self-care is less about pampering, and more about slowing down and listening to her own needs with radical honesty. “Self-care is about supporting my vision and values. It’s more about my commitment to stay true to my vision and values and put the things in place that will allow me to continue to self-actualize.” She explains.

For Azizi, a form of self-care is understanding her current needs. “It’s less about what I do but why I do it, so my self-care routine varies depending on where I am at in life.”

Figuring out her needs stretch beyond the moment, Azizi also evaluates what she wants to accomplish and what she wants to express. One routine she’s been enjoying lately has been singing, which helps her to feel good and grounded. “Singing allows me to clear my head and to hear the wisdom waiting for me beneath the noise and busy-ness.” One song that Azizi admits always puts her in a good mood and never gets old is Mariah Carey’s Fantasy.

Azizi Birkeland in sustainable yoga clothes from Isabelle Moon.

Azizi’s carefully explored views on self-care seems to fit beautifully with her favorite color, teal. Which is associated with emotional healing, self-awareness, and creative expressions.

Self-care, self-acceptance, and vulnerability are concepts which are intimately intertwined, it’s not always easy to admit, understand, or accept that their presence is needed in our lives. Especially if it’s a concept we previously link with activities that we may not always enjoy. “In order to really give value, you must feel your value. Start there. Spend some time looking in the mirror and say out loud why you think you deserve to be first. Practice saying, ‘because I'm worth it’ until you are comfortable.”

It might seem hard at first, but practice makes perfect. Something that Azizi is familiar with, specifically when it comes to yoga.

“One of my biggest challenges with yoga is being consistent and finding that sweet spot where it all comes together on the mat. I’m always open to advice on how to form yoga routines!” she says.

If you’d like to get in contact with Azizi you can head over to her Instagram. Or check out Azizi’s website to see what she’s up to, you can also join in her retreat for mothers, Sacred Mama Mastery, where healing and transformation happens to accelerate freedom, abundance, and flow.

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