Category Archives: Lovingkindness

National Yoga Month: Lovingkindness Theme

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September is National Yoga Month, so expect lots of random yoga-related musings this month!

Today I thought I would talk about themes in relation to planning and teaching classes. Often when I plan a class, my theme focuses on one or more parts of the body (I’m a rather practical person, so such a practical themes come easily for m). For the past couple of weeks, however, I’ve focused on concepts like gratitude and kindness.

textgram_1503844659My inspiration for the kindness classes was, of all things, a post on the site scarymommy.com. I tweaked the author’s daily question to her children, “Who were you kind to?” to “How were you kind today?” and asked students to meditate on that question while in a pose (yin and restorative yoga both lend themselves well to this with their long holds).

In some of my classes, I also used a version of the metta mediation. You can learn more about metta meditation here. The version of the meditation that I used in class is below: the first round is directed at bringing lovingkindness to ourselves; the next round is directed at some we feel needs lovingkindess directed to them; and the last round is directed to all the earth.

May I be free from suffering.

May I be well.

May I be at peace.

May I be joyful.

May I be filled with lovingkindness.

 

May you be free from suffering.

May you be well.

May you be at peace.

May you be joyful.

May you be filled with lovingkindness.

 

May all beings be free from suffering.

May all beings be well.

May all beings be at peace.

May all beings be joyful.

May all beings be filled with lovingkindness.

Thanks for reading!

Debra

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National Simplicity Day

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July 12 is National Simplicity Day. There are many ways to practice simplicity, including bringing awareness to our daily actions. Practice kindness, even when it’s hard.

xo,

Debra

Compliment Your Mirror Day

July 3rd is National Compliment Your Mirror Day. Many tips for the this day involve doing something to improve your appearance or update your look. But today should be about looking beyond the surface and seeing the truly beautiful essence of the pure self. You are strong, you are unique, you are enough just as you are. Remind yourself of that today.

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International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

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2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Travel gives us a chance to expand our experiences and get to know the world around us. The World
Committee on Tourism Ethics offers a number of tips for traveling ethically and responsibly. Geared primarily toward international travel, the principles can also be applied to respecting those closer to home, too.

The first of their tips is to “Honor your hosts and our common heritage.”

Research your destination to learn about local customs, traditions and social
conditions. It’s a great way to build understanding of the local community
and excitement for your adventure ahead.
Learn to speak a few words in the local language. This can help you connect
with the local community and its people in a more meaningful way.
Experience and respect all that makes an international destination different
and unique, from its history, architecture, religion, dress and communication
codes, to its music, art and cuisine.
Always ask before taking photographs of other people as their privacy
matter as much as yours.

Enjoy your summer travels!

Debra

 

National Say Something Nice Day

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National Say Something Nice Day is celebrated annually on June 1. Established in 2006 in Charleston, South Carolina, the day is meant to spread some kindness to the people in our lives.

Like National Compliment Day, is a day to be honest, sincere, and share a positive message. A great place to start is with yourself: be kind with yourself in thought and cut yourself some slack. Do the same for others whenever you have a chance.

May your day be as amazing as you are!

Debra

 

 

Day of Vesak

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Day of Vesak is a UN recognized holiday to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Siddhartha Gautama, more commonly known as Buddha. Buddha lived in present-day India and Nepal between the sixth and fourth century BCE. His teachings focused on messages about compassion, peace and goodwill, lessons we can all observe whether we identify as Buddhist or not.

Peace,

Debra

 

Victims of Violence Holy Day

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April 4 is the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 2009, Victims of Violence Holy Day was established as the 2nd of three Emancipation Days of Respect that honor those who’ve sacrificed to the change the laws of segregation in America as well as supporting those who’ve suffered at the hands of slavery and violence.

While we think of slavery and segregation as something in the distant past, racism and slavery (especially in the form of human trafficking) are all still very real today. It is up to each of us to examine the misguided fear of “others” that we all feel sometimes and remember that we are all more alike than different. We cannot let fear and intolerance overtake us.

In peace and unity,

Debra

Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day

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The gentle soul that was Fred Rogers was born on this day, March 20, 1928. Although he has been gone since 2003, his message of loving acceptance of ourselves and others continues through the work of the Fred Rogers Center and the Fred Rogers Company.

I was born in 1970, just two years after Mister Rogers Neighborhood and one year after Sesame Street began airing, and both shows deeply influenced me. In particular, I loved Mr. Rogers because he never spoke down to anyone and he never shied away from how challenging life could be. But he made it seem like kindness was possible and everything would work out as it should.

So today, I challenge you in even the most trying situations to demonstrate a little kindness and respect for yourself and for your fellow human beings.

With lovingkindness,

Debra

Pink Shirt Day

img_20170222_152456_512.jpgToday is Pink Shirt Day (Canada), a day to rally against bullying. Two Nova Scotia high school students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, rallied friends and fellow students to wear pink after another student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school.

Unfortunately, bullying seems to be more prevalent in all areas of our society. So if you see bullying, speak up and stand up.Make a #pinkshirtpromise to spread love, compassion, and other positive energy through your actions and words. We can all take inspiration from Shiridi Sai Baba, “Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true? Does it improve upon the silence?”.

Kindness and compassion are not naive or weak; they are what makes the world a better place.

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In peace and love,

Debra

Madly in Love with Me Day

textgram_1486958591.pngIt seems like the whole month of February is filled with hearts and chocolates and flowers… or at least the ads for them. While I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, I do like the idea of celebrating love. Celebrating our love of others is fine as long as we don’t get attached to the idea that we have to have someone outside ourselves to love or that we are only worthy of love if we have a significant other in our lives.

Madly in Love with Me Day is celebrated annually on February 13 and was established by self-help guru Christine Arylo, author of “Madly In Love With ME, The Daring Adventure To Becoming Your Own Best Friend”. The philosophy behind her message, which is targeted to women but can apply more broadly to anyone in society, is that we cannot truly love others without loving ourselves fully. This is true, too, of compassion, gratitude, and joy — the sources of all of these is within each of us and resides in the true Self. Yoga can help us tune in to the true Self.

Remind yourself whenever you need to today that you can love yourself.

xoxo,

Debra

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