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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Weekly Words of Wisdom – MUSIC

Weekly Words of Wisdom – M is for MUSIC – I’ve been so blessed by music in my life! My dad was a musician, and some of my happiest childhood memories are of him with his guitar strapped on, strolling around the house playing and singing.

And some of my happiest adulthood memories have been with my brothers as they play their guitars – all of us singing together and just having the best time.

For centuries music has been a way to bring people together. Chants and ceremonial melodies have soothed souls and ruffled feathers since the beginning of time.

Music can bring back memories in the sweetest and/or most painful way – drawing us back to our life’s journey and stirring past emotions.

Music can lift our spirits when we’re feeling low, energize us when we need a boost, and soothe us if we’re feeling scattered.

I feel like music is an important piece of my yoga teaching practice. I always love when a yoga student tells me after class that they enjoyed my playlist. They tell me of a song that took them back in time, or that a song played at the perfect time to remind them of someone they loved and lost.

My music collection and yoga playlists are on Spotify, so if you use that app you are welcome to download my yoga playlists. Look for my music under “Deb Althoff”.

Do you allow music to play an important role in your life? Are there songs that instantly take you back in time? Maybe songs you fast-forward because the memory is too painful?

MUSIC is medicine. I’ve got the music in me. And that’s me at 3 with my daddy’s guitar.

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Weekly Words of Wisdom – LIGHT

Weekly Words of Wisdom – L is for LIGHT – When I was a little girl, one of my favorite Sunday school songs went like this:

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine.
This little light of mine, yes I’m gonna’ let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

It was a catchy little tune and like all the songs I sang in Sunday school, the melody meant more to me than the lyrics. I sang those words at top of my lungs without understanding their true meaning.

Today, as I’m called to put myself in front of others and lead yoga classes – as I continue to push through vulnerability and share my words on social media – I’ve come to fully understand the meaning of allowing my light to shine.

We dim our light out of fear of rejection and fear of being judged. We believe we are somehow inadequate or lacking and we resist the urge to shine too brightly because we might be exposed and revealed.

But here’s the thing. If we dim ourselves too low, we will never have the opportunity to share our gifts – the messages we came here to share with others in an effort to make this world a brighter and better place.

If I “hide it [my light] under a bushel” my message will not be known, and I believe that I have a really important message to share.

I’m here to shine the light on the benefits of yoga, and to share it with as many people as I can while I’m still able to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…

How does if feel to let your LIGHT shine? Turn your dimmer switch up to the highest setting and leave it there. You were born for this.

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