Listen to the article
- worry about money,
- buying gifts,
- dealing with uncomfortable family dynamics,
- and/or sadness around the absence of loved ones who are no longer here with us to celebrate the holidays.
3 Day Workshop
with Kerry Armstrong
FRIDAY, APRIL 26th – Sunday, April 28th
This holiday season, I want to encourage you to do 3 things, to help you flow through the holiday season with greater ease:
- Make time for your yoga practice. The 60-75 minutes you spend on your mat, will pull you away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and your life in general – allowing you to help quiet your mind. During the holidays, most people skip getting to yoga class, to make room for more seasonal activities. That’s a recipe for stress. You add potentially stressful situations to your plate and lose your stress reliever at the same time. Instead, do what you can to maintain your yoga practice. If you find it hard to find time, simply scale back (i.e.- instead of coming to class 2-3 times a week, come to class once a week, rather than skipping your yoga practice entirely, because you don’t have time to get to the studio multiple times a week). You are worth the time and effort of getting to class. Taking time for ourselves helps us to better nurture not only ourselves, but our relationships. When you are happy and fulfilled, everything else just seems to flow with a greater sense of ease…even difficulties.
- Feel your feelings. The holidays often bring up strong feelings for people around everything from family losses, to meeting high expectations of visiting family, to new relationships. Most of us, would rather flee/run from these strong emotions, rather than accepting that it is natural to feel them this time of year.
Allowing yourself to sit with and experience a strong emotion, reduces the stress around it. Are you grieving a departed relative or friend? Are you sad about a recent break up? Are you angry with a loved one? The more you allow yourself to feel your emotions, the more clarity and ease you’ll create around navigating through them. And the easier it gets to sit with them and accept them, rather than avoiding them. Know that feeling (and in return, healing) doesn’t have to look pretty. Real healing is hard, exhausting, and draining. But, let yourself go through it. Don’t try and paint it as anything other than what it is. Be there with your feelings and for yourself, with no judgement.
- Give yourself the gift of presence. One of the easiest ways to have your peace and joy of holiday enjoyment robbed is losing the ability to experience the wonderful moments that happen in the present, by becoming so wrapped up in planning the best holiday experience. While you worry about whether everyone is happy with the meal, if anyone is fighting about politics, or if the kids are eating too much sugar – you miss the beautiful moments that make the holidays magical.
Whether it’s the look of joy and pride in your parents’ eyes, the look of excitement on your child’s face, the excitement of carrying on a cherished holiday tradition, or even the simple comfort of snuggling or holding hands with your significant other after the last guests have left – you have the ability to experience so many beautiful moments and feelings as your holiday unfolds. When you stop trying to make your holiday “perfect” and fit an “ideal,” you create space to savor and cherish the holiday as it is.
A great way to start savoring and embracing the present moment is to take pause to identify one thing you feel good about right now and then meditating on that thought every time you feel your mind drifting off to thoughts that don’t serve you or fall in line with gratitude. There is no way to overindulge in gratitude and good feelings.
By getting on your mat, feeling what you feel, and giving yourself the gift of presence – we take care of ourselves in return, and can create inner-peace this holiday season and beyond. When we feel grounded and balanced, we position ourselves for greater ease and vinyasa…flow. We can then put our best foot forward, taking our yoga off the mat and into the world this holiday season.