Weekly Words of Wisdom – RESTORATIVE YOGA

Weekly Words of Wisdom ~ R is for RESTORATIVE YOGA. I wonder, when is the last time you were intentional about resting?

I see it in my yoga teaching practice all the time. Some of the most challenging yoga poses are the ones that invite us to be still. We are so used to the busy-ness of our lives – the go-go-go and get-things-done – that we have forgotten (or we simply ignore)  the importance of rest.

Restorative yoga invites us to create a shape with our body using props such as blankets, blocks and bolsters to facilitate the release of tension so that healing can take place.

A restorative yoga practice helps to calm the nervous system, boosts the immune system, releases physical tension from our muscles, improves digestion, and most importantly, fosters self-compassion and understanding.

When our physical body is relaxed and tension is released, we are able to heal on a physical level. The sweet thing about restorative yoga is the opportunity to heal on an emotional / energetic level as well.

Sometimes we keep ourselves busy in an effort to avoid facing difficult things in our lives. We keep ourselves distracted with activities, or we numb-out with alcohol, drugs, social media or TV. Restorative yoga invites self-compassion and deep relaxation in a meditative way, allowing us to heal energetically as well as physically.

Be intentional with your relaxation this week, my friend. Rest on your back with your legs propped up. Breathe deeply and take a load off – body and mind.

I promise it will do wonders for your attitude as well.

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – QUALITY

Weekly Words of Wisdom ~ Q is for QUALITY – Let’s think on this for a bit, my friend. Quality vs. Quantity.

It’s easy to get caught up in the temptation for more-more-more! We want more money, more stuff, more time. More sleep.

What if I told you it’s more important to focus on the value of things rather than the amount? What if having it all isn’t the goal after all?

Too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing sometimes. Too much chocolate can give you a belly ache. Too much excessive exercise can cause injury, and too much alcohol can make you…well…not smart.

My Taurus nature loves quality over quantity. A good meal over fast food. A few good friends over many casual ones. A few deep yin yoga stretches on my own mat as opposed to random movements led by someone else (though I’m not discounting practicing regularly with a teacher you resonate with!).

What are you more likely to splurge on so you can have the best instead of the most? Where do you find joy in QUALITY?

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – PRACTICE

Weekly Words of Wisdom ~ P is for PRACTICE – Practice makes perfect, so be careful what you practice.

This year I’ve had the opportunity to practice getting comfortable in front of a camera – specifically for video. When I decided to bring my Yoga for Grief workshop into an online format, I knew that videos would be an essential part of that. I began practicing by recording a Facebook live session once a week leading up to the launching of my online course.

Oh. My. Goodness. I was SO nervous those first few weeks I recorded myself! I planned what I would say, and fretted about it for days leading up to the actual session.

What was I afraid of? Well, I was afraid of what YOU would think of me. Would I be accepted in spite of all my stutters and stammers? Excused for all the times I said “um”? And WHY on earth did I scratch my nose so often?

If you watched those videos, did you really care about any of that? Probably not.

Ultimately, here’s the thing: What other people think of me is none of my business. My business was to get comfortable making videos – to keep showing up – so that others would know the benefits of yoga.

As long as I kept my goal in mind – as long as I kept practicing – I became more at ease with the process of videoing myself (as evidenced in this behind-the-scenes photo taken by my daughter, Carrie).

I am definitely more comfortable recording videos now, and I love that technology allows me to share yoga with others who may not otherwise have access to it.

PRACTICE makes perfect, my friend. What are you practicing these days?

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – OPEN

Weekly Words of Wisdom – O is for OPEN

OPEN YOUR MIND ~ Learn to be curious about everything. Be willing to see things from a different perspective; you might learn something really cool. Daydream about the amazing opportunities that await you. Dream of world peace.

OPEN YOUR HEART ~ Learn how to love others who don’t share the same faith/sex/color/whatever as you. Foster compassion for others and mostly for yourself. Learn to forgive, and allow yourself to be forgiven.

OPEN YOUR ARMS ~ Embrace life that way. And hug your people.

OPEN YOUR EYES ~ Look for the good in the world. Look away from your phone and into the eyes of the person you’re with. Look at the sky! Gaze around in wild wonder at the beauty of our planet. See the good in others.

Open up my friend. Life is better that way.

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – NAMASTE

Weekly Words of Wisdom – N is for NAMASTE ~ If you’ve ever attended a formal yoga class, you already know the sweet salutation that is spoken at the close of the practice. If you’ve never practiced yoga, you might be curious – what’s the big deal about Namaste.

Namaste is a Sanskrit word that serves as a salutation, and a gesture of honor and reverence. It’s yoga tradition for the teacher to speak it the end of a yoga practice, and the students respond by speaking Namaste in return.

The hands are typically held in Anjali mudra, also known as prayer position, which might make this seem like a religious practice. I know some folks who might shy away from yoga if they feel that this would be disrespectful to their own spiritual practices. I’m here to inform you otherwise.

Resting the hands together in front of the heart is an age-old gesture of reverence and self-reflection. Religion or spiritual beliefs don’t really matter here – it’s a sweet and simple hand placement in front of our sweet and tender heart.

When the word Namaste is spoken at the end of a yoga practice, it ceremoniously honors the practice and participants.

When I speak the word Namaste at the end of yoga classes I teach, I feel its meaning in the deepest sense.  “My heart and soul honors your heart and soul.”

No matter where you are today, my friend. No matter what you are going through, my heart and soul honors your heart and soul. I’m so grateful for this journey.

NAMASTE.

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