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Collin Hughes

The Important Reason Global Citizens Should Practice Self-Care

20160918_LULULEMON-ChelseaLovesYoga_0164 (1).jpegDr.Chelsea Jackson Roberts
Image: Collin Hughes

Last fall, Dr.Chelsea Jackson Roberts joined Global Citizen at Riverside Church in New York City during Global Citizen Week to talk about her work empowering youth. Roberts, an educator and yoga teacher, uses the practice of yoga to connect people to one another, and to empower the youth she works with.

Roberts is the Founder and Co-director of the Yoga, Literature, and Art Camp for teen girls at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, as well as Red Clay Yoga, a nonprofit that uses yoga as a form of community outreach. Roberts is a Global Yoga Ambassador for lululemon, the first-ever mindfulness partner of the New York Global Citizen Week and sponsor of the Global Citizen Festival. lululemon's Here to Be program – a community-based social impact initiative – also supports Roberts work.

chelsea jackson roberts riverside.jpgNEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts speaks during Global Citizen - Breaking the Silence: Beyond the Dream at Riverside Church on September 17, 2017 in New York City.
Image: Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Years ago, as a public school teacher, Roberts turned to yoga as a self-care practice to renew herself so she could continue to serve her students, their families, and the larger communities she worked with. And yoga has since been a constant in Roberts’s life.

As 2018 begins and people set their intentions for the upcoming year, Global Citizen spoke with Roberts about her work and how Global Citizens can be empowered to effect change through the practices of yoga and self-care.

What makes you a Global Citizen?

My yoga practice makes me a Global Citizen. The way in which I use this practice to connect communities is proof that yoga is truly grounded in connection and integration.

How can yoga be used to empower people?

Yoga is a tool for change. It supports us in being more conscious, aware, compassionate, and engaged humans in this world. This type of work is integral when working with youth and elevating their voices.

Gratitude.jpegDr.Chelsea Jackson Roberts with students from Girls Prep: Bronx Elementary School.
Image: Collin Hughes

How can Global Citizens find that connection and integration and practice self-care?

Global Citizens can practice self care and mindfulness, and support their own well being by remembering to do what my beloved teacher Ma Jaya always reminded me to do: “drink as I pour.” Global Citizens who connect with multiple people and communities across the world are constantly “pouring out.” As a result, we have the potential to burn out quickly, even when doing the things we love. By practicing self-care, we remember that if we are not taking care of ourselves, it is impossible to take care of others.

How can Global Citizens channel that energy and connection to create change in the world around them?

Global Citizens can harness their routines and impact change in the world by practicing the essence of connection in the most embodied way, which is by supporting their personal well-being. Whenever I am anchored in a practice of self-care, I become more mindful of my words, thoughts, and actions. As we become more mindful of our own personal needs when it comes to restoration and care, the more aware we become acutely aware of the impact this awareness has on our relationships with others in the world.