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Hi everyone,

Here’s my plan for my yoga classes in February:

Week 1: Twists
Week 2: Inversions
Week 3: Hip Flexors and Hamstrings
Week 4: Balancing

Don’t worry about a thing…for everything I teach, options will be offered for those of you who are beginners or who are working through injuries…so don’t miss class! Check my Teaching Schedule page for an update to when and where I am teaching.

Namaste and blessings to you all,

Melanie Deal, RYT-200

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“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ~~ William James

Have you taken the time lately to stop and ask yourself why it is that you do what you do for a living? Why is it that you do what you do for fun? In other words, what’s your motivation?

When I think about why it is that teach yoga, it’s easy for me to answer. Yoga has helped me overcome so many different things and has truly improved my whole being. So I want to share that with others. If I can provide just one of my students with that same sense of completeness, then I would be the happiest person in the world. I’ve felt this way about yoga ever since I started teaching, almost 10 years ago. My main goal is just to help my students find the best in themselves. Simple as that.

When I think about why it is that I practice yoga, that’s not as easy to answer sometimes. For the most part, I can honestly say that I practice because it simply makes me feel better, inside and out. And when I feel good, I feel like that bounces off of me and onto those around me, making everything just a little bit better for all of us. But sometimes, I feel like I am on a mission to really rock in a particularly challenging pose, and to have a teacher say to me how perfect I look in it…now that’s NOT a good reason to practice. That makes it all about myself, which is a selfish thing. But it’s the truth…sometimes, I just want to be the “best” at something in class.

When I think about why it is that I run, it’s very similar to my reason for practicing yoga. For the most part, I run because I know it will help me with maintaining my health, keeping my cholesterol and stress levels down. But sometimes, I find that I am running in attempt to burn off that big piece of (insert favorite junk food treat here) that I ate the day before and the day before that.

It’s funny…when I practice yoga or when I go for a run, and my motivation is to feel better and healthier, then I feel completely amazing after. Like I could conquer most anything that’s thrown my way. But when my motivation is of a more selfish variety, I don’t feel quite so good after. I almost feel “dirty”, like I’ve cheated on a test or something, you know what I mean?

I think that if you take a long, hard look at why you do the things you do, you’ll probably notice the same thing. I think it’s sort of an intrinsic thing. When we do something for the betterment of ourselves and/or others, it fosters a sense of completeness and makes us feel more alive, more “in touch”. When we do things for the way it makes us look, or because we think it makes us cool, then it’s all about ourselves only. This makes us feel disconnected, and others will feel that way about us…no connection at all. And who wants that? Not me!

So, this week, take a long hard look at all the things you do in your life. What you do for work, what you do for fun, what you do out of obligation. Then ask yourself, for each of these things, “Why am I doing this?” If you can say that you’re doing it for the betterment of yourself and/or others, if you feel like it’s something that connects you in some way to something bigger, then you need to make sure you keep on doing it. It’s how you’ll grow as a person. Otherwise, let it go. Get rid of it if it’s all about you. You’ll be amazed, if you really and truly analyze the reasons why you do what you do, at how many things you should really be letting go of. Give it a try. I’d love to know what you discover, so please feel free to comment, or message me directly.

Namaste,

Melanie

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Beauty comes as much from the mind as from the eye. ~Grey Livingston

Yesterday I woke up feeling beautiful. When I looked in the mirror, I looked exactly the same as the day before. When I stepped on the scale, it hadn’t budged. For many days before yesterday, I certainly didn’t feel beautiful. So why the change yesterday? Why did I all of a sudden go from feeling below average to feeling beautiful?

I mentioned in my last blog that I need to make yoga more of a priority in my life again, and I started doing that over the weekend…I was able to practice both days, and I was able to practice yesterday and this morning. I got the opportunity to practice both the styles I love…a more vigorous Power practice, as well as a more Yin-based practice. Just what my body needed…and my mind, too, I guess! Something about the flow of both styles helped me release some pent-up emotions, and I ended up bawling my eyes out on my way home from class Sunday night. It felt great to let go of all that “junk”, you know what I mean?

I’ve also been working to cut out as much processed food as I can and focus on eating more fresh foods. I feel like I am doing pretty well, so I wonder how much that’s playing in to how I feel about myself.

So now I’m curious, and I’m challenging myself to keep this up. Keep eating fresher foods, and make sure to do yoga EVERY day, even if it’s just for a few Sun Salutations…surely I can manage that, right? I’ll do my best, and I won’t beat myself up if there’s a legitimate reason why I can’t.

How about you? On most days, how do you feel about yourself when you wake up in the morning? Forget about what you see in the mirror…how do you feel on the INSIDE? I hope you feel beautiful, because you ARE beautiful. If your mind believes that, then it is so.

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