Relish the Festivities This Year by Adding a Little Yoga to Your Holiday Rituals

Can you smell it?

Scent shapes our experiences in countless ways. Well, okay. maybe you can count them. But the impact is obvious. And old holiday traditions no one looks forward to have a smell. It's stale and faint, in case you were wondering. It rebukes. We want to be enticed and seduced into the holidays, don't we?

Let the excitement begin this year with brand spanking new yoga holiday rituals

So what the hell are yoga holiday rituals anyway? I'm gonna go ahead and make up a definition here. We are yoga folk. Our practice is how we go about our lives. So, how does it make any sense that our holidays don't contain rituals and traditions that include yoga? I'll answer that. It really doesn't. So as we gather with our friends, families, and communities, let's involve and revolve the festivities around our beloved practices and share them as the gifts they are with those around us. If you've got a few naysayers or resistant people in your inner circle, this is the ideal opportunity to show them the various and vast sides of the yoga spectrum. Surely some components of yoga will speak to them. Maybe even ALL of the yoga will ring their bells. Don't be afraid to add a little humor. In fact, be a little frightened not to.

It doesn't have to be all serious, yo

Let's not underestimate how unbelievably good a belly laugh feels. Plus, adding humor may help others delete the stereotype of yoga people and their habits from their brains. We don't want those. They suck and we can help those around us understand that everyone is a yoga person and everyone has a yoga body. It's all about the approach. Try one or all of these ideas. Hopefully, they'll stir your own creative juices and you'll come up with something that feels original and very unique to you. The idea is to celebrate, enjoy, and look forward to the holidays. If I'm wrong about that, someone please tell me what they're all about.

Yoga holiday traditions to make your own

  • Decorations should be many things. Meaningful, adorable, and specific to your life. Invite your yoga buddies over and make your best ornament, incense holder, door bling, or table setting. The only rule is that yoga needs to be represented in your craft. You could turn it into a competition. (because that's what the holidays are all about, right?) Or you could pick numbers so that you get to choose the decoration you want to call your own. If yours gets chosen last, who cares! They have no taste. Get silly and creative. Enjoying each other is the best gift of all.
  • Have a chakra soup potluck. I'm doing this on December 16th if anyone wants to come. Yoga Journal published an article last month with recipes that stimulate and correspond with each chakra. Invite at least 6 friends and divvy up the soups. Invite a few others and task them with bringing the yummiest soup-friendly bread as a contribution. Before soup, enjoy a chakra-inspired home practice together. This will be a yoga holiday tradition you'll want to continue forever. And encourage everyone to bring containers to take leftover soup home. I really can't wait for this.

Got any yoga holiday rituals of your own to share?

We would LOVE to hear from you. Please share in the comments so we can gift each other with ideas and possibilities to continue these community building yoga holiday rituals together.

giving and receiving importance|yogi surprise

Is The Equation of Giving and Receiving In Balance?

I bet you're a giver.

Most yoga lovers I know really excel at the giving part. They use almost every ounce of energy they have in that direction.

Why is it so much easier to give than to let ourselves to receive?

Energy is currency. Giving and receiving need to balance one another out

Part of self-care is knowing when we have depleted our energy. We have to replenish the well constantly. Making thoughtful choices about how much of ourselves we give to others is a crucial part of making sure we protect and nurture our ability to be of service. If we think of energy as currency, noting when our bank account is insufficient of funds is an important thing to understand. And when it's in abundance, that's when we can indulge being the most generous version of ourselves.

How and when to set boundaries

Giving and receiving will probably never be quite in perfect balance. But getting as close to an evenness as we can needs to be a priority. When your yoga teacher is quiet after teaching a class, it's likely because s/he has extended themselves as much as they could and it's time to conserve energy. When you spend the day listening to a friend in need or helping someone with a project, it's important to take the time to receive yourself. That might be spending time in meditation. Taking a bath, getting a massage, or practicing restorative yoga are all helpful ways to reset the balance within.

Knowing when you're feeling depleted is a practice all unto itself. When we're drained, we don't have anything left to give. Conversely, when you're on the opposite side of the equation and receiving more than your share, knowing when it's your turn to give makes it so that balance is prioritized.

We all recharge in different ways. Making a mental list of how you can ensure the giving and receiving equation is as harmonized as you can make it is self-care at it's best.

In what ways do you give? It might take you the entire day to contemplate that. But it's really in your best interest to know yourself this way. If being on the receptive end is difficult for you, take some time today to explore why that is. In what ways are you comfortable with receiving? Just as we feel the need to give, so do others. Providing that opportunity is a gift.

You deserve love. You deserve abundance. And you absolutely are worthy of it all.

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