Weekly Words of Wisdom – DEVOTION

D is for DEVOTION – The word DEVOTION is defined as “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.” My love of yoga began many years ago, but it’s only been in recent years that my practice feels like a true devotion.

Each of us is devoted to something, or someone. We direct our time and attention – our energy – toward nurturing our connection with that person or to a particular cause. Our devotion drives our sense of belonging in this world – it’s what truly matters deep within us.

When we are devoted to nurturing ourselves and creating practices that connect us to something greater, there comes a feeling of purpose and belonging. Perhaps we devote our time and attention toward service to others, to the well-being of animals, the improvement of our planet, or our connection with Spirit.

Remember in the movie “Grease” when Sandy sang about being “Hopelessly devoted to” Danny? That kind of devotion is sweet, but can also be risky and fleeting. Devotion toward another human, or even inanimate objects might leave us feeling unfulfilled and always longing for something more.

We foster our DEVOTION when we are intentional with our thoughts, words and actions. I wonder, what are you devoted to? What practices have you established to foster that devotion?

I’m hopefully devoted to yoga.

PS: Click here to learn about Namaste.

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – COURAGE

C is for COURAGE – A friend of mine recently asked if I get nervous before I teach yoga, and my answer was, “Yes. Every time.” There’s always an element of vulnerability every time I step in front of a group of yoga students. Gosh, there’s even an element of vulnerability in sharing these weekly words of wisdom!

I know that my pre-class jitters are simply a result of my desire to do well; and I’ve taught enough yoga classes to know that my jitters will subside as soon as we begin breathing and relaxing together.

When our purpose is clear, we are more likely to summon enough courage to step out of our comfort zone.

My purpose is quite clear! I know that I am here to share the practice of yoga so others can benefit. It has always been my goal to lead yoga classes that are accessible to students of all levels, and in a way that is uplifting and deeply healing. With every class I lead, the end result of witnessing my students peacefully resting in Savasana is all I need to keep me coming back again and again.

My word of focus and affirmation this week is COURAGE, and I’ll keep this little card in plain sight as a reminder of how far I’ve come and how far I’ve yet to grow.

YOUR TURN: Where does courage show up in your life? Do you find that knowing your purpose helps you step out of your comfort zone?

PS: Click here to learn “Super Hero Pose.”

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – BREATHE

B is for BREATHE – If I had to choose my single most favorite thing about yoga it would be challenging because…well…it’s YOGA! There are so many reasons to love the practice, but if I had to pick just one thing it would definitely be breath work (Pranayama). Learning to connect with your breath can literally be life changing.

If you’re new to yoga, controlling the speed and depth of the breath can be tricky at first. I always encourage new students to simply notice the way they’re breathing – notice the inhale, then notice the exhale. Once comfortable with that, we can begin to take a little deeper breath in, and a slower and more complete breath out.

A regular practice of deep breathing is soothing to the nervous system; reduces symptoms of stress; relieves insomnia; improves circulation; lowers blood pressure; and boosts the immune system. It’s also great for adjusting the attitude as well.

Did you know that my daughter is getting married in less than four months?! Wedding planning is really ramping up now that the holidays are behind us, and we are finding many opportunities to pause and take a few deep breaths throughout our days.

So, for a word of focus this week I chose BREATHE. I’ll keep this little card in plain sight this week as an extra reminder to return my focus to the way I’m breathing.

YOUR TURN: How comfortable are you when it comes to controlling the speed and depth of your breath? It would be well worth your time to give it a try on a regular basis!

PS: Click here to learn a simple technique for slowing the exhale called fog-the-mirror breath.

PPS: Click here to sign up for my email newsletters. It’s a great way to keep up to date on my yoga projects, events and announcements.

Weekly Words of Wisdom for 2018

For the past 10 years I have joined in the tradition of choosing a word of focus for the year. The idea is to choose one word that symbolizes where there is opportunity for personal growth, and then keep that word alive as your main affirmation and inspiration for the entire year. Past choices for me have included: CHILL, SHINE, TRUST, BUTTERFLY, PERMISSION…

I’d been tossing around the idea of choosing a word for 2018 and was about to make it official by posting it on social media, when inspiration came and took me in a different direction.

Introducing: Weekly Words of Wisdom

That’s right. I’m not just choosing one little word to last the whole year – I’m choosing a whole new word at the beginning of every week. I’ll use that word as an affirmation and opportunity for growth for the duration of the week.

I plan to document my weekly word by creating a small piece of artwork, and then adding some journaling to the back of it – just reflecting on what the word means to me. Some weeks I may share a yoga pose that fits with my word, or a photograph I love. I’m excited to see how this project unfolds!

To keep it fun and challenging, I’ll choose words in alphabetical order. My word for week one will begin with the letter “A”, and continue through the alphabet every week until I reach “Z.” That will put me at the end of June, and then I’ll start over with “A”. {Perfect that 26 letters multiplied by two equals 52 weeks of inspiration.}

Now – here is your invitation to be inspired!

I would love to have you join me in choosing your own Weekly Words of Wisdom.

At the beginning of every week, choose one word that inspires you and then document it somehow. It can be as simple as jotting it down on your weekly calendar page and taking a moment to contemplate what that word means to you. Maybe you write it on a post-in note and put it somewhere in view for the week. Keep a weekly journal and jot down some notes about the word you chose. Or maybe you go all out and create a little piece of artwork that showcases your weekly word of wisdom.

It’s just once a week and we don’t need to overthink it. I bet if you wrote out the alphabet and started jotting down words next to each letter you might surprise yourself with inspiration.

What word of affirmation or inspiration would you choose for the letter “A” this week?
I chose ANGELS.

PS: Click here to sign up for my email newsletters. It’s a great way to keep up to date on my yoga projects, events and announcements.

Be careful. I love you.

From Atlantic to Pacific, gee, the traffic is terrific…

I live in a large metropolitan area where the traffic is… well… I suppose you could call it “terrific.” The holiday season brings a heightened sense of urgency, and over the past week or so I’ve noticed a shift in the way folks are driving.

I wonder, how do you react when another driver accidentally (or seemingly intentionally) cuts you off in traffic? Are you courteous or easily agitated? What words do you typically speak out loud?

Aggression and anger is defused by love and compassion.

Imagine you were a passenger in a vehicle being driven by a loved one. And imagine said loved one was in a really big hurry and driving a bit aggressively. Perhaps you’d speak these words to them:

“You must be in a really big hurry. Be careful. I love you.”

Today I invite you to change the way you react to a stranger whose driving doesn’t meet your expectations. How would it change things if you were to speak the same words for them as you would to a loved one?

The power of prayer and intention is an amazing thing. When we respond to aggression with compassion, we shift the energy for ourselves and others. Consider an aggressive driver as someone who could really use a dose of love and compassion.

I have an invitation for you. When you venture out onto the roads, be a sweet driver and say these words out loud if/when someone cuts you off in traffic: “You must be in a really big hurry. Be careful. I love you.” And then notice how your own attitude is softened just a bit.

Be sweet, be safe, be careful. I love you.

PS: Practice this breathing technique to calm yourself while waiting for a red light to turn green.

PPS: Click here to sign up for my email newsletters. It’s a great way to keep up to date on my yoga projects, events and announcements.