Don’t let your yoga practice suffer in the holidays.
Binge drinking eggnog? Cookie O.D.? Late night raucous caroling? Has your yoga taken a hit over the holidays?
It’s not uncommon for one’s commitment to yoga to waiver this time of year as outward activities subvert one’s inner peace. Whatever your particular vice, consider these practical steps to reclaim your practice and keep your yoga on point in this celebratory season.
1. It is Never too Late!
No matter how low your practice may have declined, it is never too late to renew or revive it. It is those first initial steps that can seem the most insurmountable. Once you get started the rest seems to fall into place. Yoga is the most dear friend that will never abandon you no matter how much you have abandoned it.
Don’t delay until the new year! In fact, now is the time to create momentum that will launch you into the next trip around the sun with a fresh outlook on life.
2. Let Go.
This is a totally different angle on yoga than practicing poses, but it is an easy and fulfilling way to bring the spirit of yoga to your daily life. Letting go.
You do not have to look far to find examples of excess within our culture, just look at the latest holiday catalogue to show up in your mailbox and ask yourself “is this really necessary?”
In our materialistic culture, it can be easy to assume that we need something additional, something outside of ourselves to be fulfilled. When in fact, the reverse is true. Is there something that we are holding onto that we would be happier without?
This pertains to not only physical possessions but more importantly, mental attachments. Clearing up psychic clutter of fear, resentment, anger will open the gateway to deeper levels of fulfillment in our day to day lives. What are you willing to let go of, that once it’s gone, will free you up for more fun?
3. Have Fun!
Yogic wisdom tells us that we are here for four primary reasons, one of which is kama or enjoyment. We are here to experience the world in its fullness, joyfully. Allow yourself to participate in the season’s celebrations, and your yoga practice, in the spirit of satisfaction and pleasure.
Consider adding some spice to your practice!
Expand your horizons, attend a class with another and highly reputable teacher. Many studios offer “Friday Night Yoga” classes that feature very festive themes. Attend classes that play (or don’t play) music. Host a fellow yogi get together or simple bring a friend to class.
4. Make Mountains into Molehills.
It can be easy to get caught up in a grand vision of what our practice is supposed to look like, not meet that expectation, get discouraged, and quit. Sometimes less is more.
In my classes, I encourage students to begin by making small, manageable and sustainable changes. Can you dedicate 20 minutes or more to a daily home practice? Gradually increasing practice over time is more likely to stick than one big, ecstatic burst of inspiration.
If you do receive such a burst of enthusiasm (which can be great!) keep it in perspective and know that it is unlikely that you will live that way for the rest of your life. (Sorry to be such a downer).
Consistency is the key to making long term progress on the path of yoga. What can you do on a regular basis? Life is better with yoga
5. Prioritize Peace.
The goal is peace. People come to yoga for lots of different reasons: to lose weight, to find their tribe, to mend from an injury. All of which are to be appreciated. One essential reference point of the practice in peace, peace that brings freedom from internal friction within our own minds, peace that instills us with compassion and cultivates contentment.
Peace is something intrinsic within us, not something to be acquired. In this season of “Peace on Earth” where does peace fall within your yoga practice? Are you busy pursuing the outward appearance of the pose? How does peace show up (or not show up) in your relationships? How much do we practice self love and acceptance, the fruit of a peaceful perspective.
New Years Day Mantra for Inner-Illumination & Peace
– Jan. 1 at 9:30am
Start the new year on a sacred note. It will look very different than a conventional asana class, as we welcome the new year with meditation, individual and collective discussion (always inspiring!), and chanting the Gayatri Mantra 108 times. Create peace, within and without. Click here for more information.
3250 E. Sixth Ave. UCC
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