Yoga is an embodiment practice. Like an ideal holiday gathering, feeling safe in class is a prerequisite for having a good time. Yoga teaches us how to connect with the moment and feel our experiences more fully as they happen in the present without judgment or expectation.
This year, what if we lean into exactly how we feel during the holidays and enjoy what the journey reveals to us along the way?
Throughout the year we practice yoga to feel freer. That ease is the counterpoint to the stresses that we encounter off the mat. We practice because it feels good and brings us closer to our true selves. Our instructors cue us, but ultimately, we make decisions in asanas that are right for us. We evaluate our need for stability or challenge at each moment. We become temporarily unavailable to others when we practice, and it forms a healthy boundary that opens the door for us to reach deeper levels of ourselves.
Honoring our needs is critical to the practice of yoga. Feeling extra heavy on the mat does not necessarily mean pumping out a bunch of chaturangas to get the fire burning. Perhaps feeling heavy is the body’s signal that we should put a knee down, use a block, or come into child’s pose. Maybe we’re feeling heavy because we went back for seconds during a feast. Regardless of the reason, giving ourselves that extra support might be exactly what is needed today. There is bliss in grounding.
Our practice helps us develop the insight and spiritual agility to go with the flow. We are adept at savoring moments of celebration and at recognizing the need for restoration. This year presents an opportunity for us to take the traditions that we learned we need from our semi-isolated versions of last year’s holidays and leave behind what doesn’t serve us. As we find ourselves fully immersed in the season, we will be presented with many opportunities to indulge. Let us choose our continued yoga practice as our most delightful indulgence yet.