The Holiday Season is Here
The official start of the holiday season is upon us. While we often feel nostalgic, excited and filled with anticipation, the pull of family events, school concerts and holiday shopping can pull us out of an attitude of gratitude for the season and into a state of stress and anxiety.
Self care is often put to the wayside as the outside world pushes in and demands our time and attention. We are diverted away from our daily routines, like practicing yoga and meditation.
Finding time to regain our balance, staying present and experiencing the gifts of the holiday season allows us to revel in what the holidays have to offer.
Yoga Nidra is both a form of meditation and a mind-body therapy. As your yogi guides you through systematic guided relaxation, hopefully in a nice cozy, comfortable space, Yoga Nidra can bring immediate physical benefits, such as reduced stress and better sleep, bringing a profound sense of joy and well-being.
The practice is available to anyone because it is traditionally practiced lying down and doesn’t require any “special poses” or “fancy tools.” Yoga Nidra allows students to reach the most profound level of relaxation, through the process of relaxing every muscle and surrender.
This practice of relaxation has been used to assist those with PTSD, people in recovery, cardiac patients. At the core of the practice is the ability to observe and welcome all of the sensations, emotions and thoughts that arise and release them through deep relaxation.
So much of the holiday season is filled with welcoming. Family visiting, children home from school, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles, all joining together in celebration. Or maybe your holidays aren’t filled with lots of hustle and bustle. Perhaps your holidays are quiet or maybe a little bit sad.
Yoga Nidra asks students to welcome themselves, allowing transformation to take place. This form of yoga is sometimes called “yogic sleep” or “effortless relaxation.”
Yoga Nidra restores our bodies, senses and minds to their natural function allowing us to experience wholeness, tranquility and well being, regardless of our circumstances.
In the practice of Kundalini Yoga, it is believed that everything we have comes from the Universe. For everything we have, we should be thankful, this means being thankful for the joyful and the challenging. In experiencing challenges we learn to grow and remain in flow with the universe through meditative practices.
Gratitude, especially in difficult times, may not come easily or naturally. To be fully at peace, practice gratitude in your everyday life, even during the holidays.
Some ideas for practicing gratitude can be:
Start noticing the small things
What are the small things that make you smile? It might be the smell of freshly-brewed coffee in the morning or the way that your partner makes you laugh. These things are not insignificant. They are part of the beauty of your life. Notice them whenever you can.
Savor every moment
If you lead a busy life, you may struggle to stop and savor the moment. However, learning to be present in the moment will help boost your overall gratitude. For example, when you are eating a meal, turn off the TV and simply enjoy the flavors of the food.
Keep a gratitude journal
At the end of each day, take just a few minutes to write down what you’re grateful for. You might want to make a list, for example, of all the things that have made you happy today. Getting into this mindful habit will help you notice all the reasons your life is exceptional.
Maintain a regular yoga and meditation practice
The virtual world has made it so easy to maintain your practice, anytime. Marni Yoga is one example of a yoga studio, right in your own home. Marni brings spirituality, relaxation, peace and serenity to you.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.
Sat Nam, Marni