True story: This time of year is tough. We’re expected to do more things with less daylight while smiling and laughing and making merry. After all, it’s the holidays, right? Right. So, it’s time to give yourself a few gifts. It’s time to take yoga off the mat into every moment of your day.
Gift #1: Intention
Yoga is about bringing it all together – our minds, bodies and spirits. We can do this by making intentional decisions about how we behave in the world. During the holidays, do you make intentional decisions about how you spend your time? Or, are there things you do without thinking about whether or not they truly serve you? Many of us over shop, over entertain, over extend ourselves doing things the way we’ve always done them. And we resent/complain/grumble all the way through. Choose your activities based on an intention of goodness rather than obligation. Give yourself permission to make changes to the things that aren’t working for you.
Gift #2: Kindness
Ironically, kindness gets lost amidst all the celebration. Traffic is horrible. Shopping lines are long. Deadlines loom. A couple of years ago, my sister told me her secret for how to stay kind within the chaos. Just do something kind. When you’re waiting in that long line at the coffee shop, think about the person behind you who is waiting even longer than you. Pay for their coffee. You’ll feel better. They’ll feel better. (This isn’t limited to lines at coffee shops, right? Get creative!)
Gift #3: Generosity
Do you have a generous spirit? I’m not talking about the number of packages you wrap and distribute. True generosity speaks to our ability to share our authentic self with those around us. The ability to be fully present, without distraction, so we can connect as humans. It means slowing down, putting technology way, and giving our complete attention to the person we’re with. Finding an honest connection with others reminds us of our beautiful interdependence. We’re all in this together, folks. Give yourself the gift of connection.
Gift #4: Breath
People tell me “I don’t have time for yoga.” Guess what? Yes, you do. All you have to do is breathe. Seriously – try some yoga right now. Sit down. Close your eyes. Take five long, slow, deep breaths. Clear the chatter out of your mind. Feel the stillness. Enjoy the peace. Then, move on with your day and share your calm energy with those around you. Breath – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Gift #5: Movement
That couch is especially comfy at this time of year. Too comfy. After a busy holiday season schedule, it’s easy to come home and settle in with a blankie and Netflix binge. Seriously, it’s one of my favorite things to do. Before that, though, give yourself some gentle movement to balance out all the running around. Breathe and stretch. Center yourself. Release tension. You don’t need a yoga mat or video. All you need is a desire to slow down and take care of yourself.
I’d love to hear from you here or on Facebook about your particular holiday challenges and what ideas you have for using the five gifts (or others!) to take very good care of yourself.