How often during past holiday seasons have you taken a trajectory so fast and furious that when you arrive at the big day or event, you’re too exhausted or easily triggered that you can’t enjoy it? Suddenly, instead of acting from the depth of who you are, you react, and let the circumstances govern your thoughts, feelings, words and actions.
Three core Yoga and Mindfulness Practices will leave you illuminated, and poised to not only survive during the holiday season, but Thrive!
I’ve always marveled at the phrase “getting caught up in the moment.” On the flip side, wouldn’t it be nice? To become absorbed in the moment, in the Now? Let’s practice absorption in the light of our selves together this holiday season! Let’s Thrive, not survive.
Try the three key practices here in the next few days to support your holiday experience, to stay more connected, and absorbed in the highest version of you. Make a steadfast commitment to your sovereignty, your 100% responsibility to love and stay in connection with you.
And if you miss a few days, with loving kindness simply guide yourself back to these practices to feel more relaxed, connected and flexible inside and out during the holidays. Remember it’s about your intention, your love for yourself. From that place, you will truly shine! Read on for three practices that can be brief and easy.
As you deepen into the practices, they will begin to intersect and you will make them you own.
Practice One: Inhale/Pause/Exhale/Pause
Ready? Here’s your first practice.
Practice 1: The Breath.
BuddhiBox sent a Yoga subscription box in August 2019 that focused on reminders about not just the breath but on the space between the breath. This classic yogic practice takes focus – and that’s what we’re going for!
Focus means that you are not dissipating your energy, rather you are building it, by guiding yourself back to center, to the best version of you, again and again.
Anytime you remember, take a moment to watch your breath. Take a long deep breath in. Pause in the space just before you take a long deep breath out (It’s scientifically proven that even one breath with an extended exhale can begin to soothe and quiet the nervous system.)
Pause in the space before you take another breathe in. Observe after 1, 2 and 3 breaths. What do you notice? Without losing your state, continue to watch and fall deeper into the space of pure awareness as you continue to focus on the breath throughout your day. Let nature, a baby, a cloud, or whatever it is for you, remind you to simply breathe.
Practice Two: Ancient yogis gave us the gift of this practice
Practice 2: Your Yoga Asana Practice.
Combine the breath with your yoga asana practice, each morning. If you’re not a yoga teacher, that’s ok, you know what your body needs and you can lovingly give it to her. You’ve had enough exposure, even after one class to do some gentle stretching to loosen your muscles and get the energy flowing through your body. Give it a chance, tap in to your innate wisdom, that substrate below the everyday, and let your body decide by leading you in the practice.
For fun, you can choose a theme for the day like “simple stretching”, “legs”, or “twist” and build around it. Practice continuing to observe the breath, while turning down the volume of your holiday “to do lists,” and any anxieties that may try to chatter in your mind. Acknowledge them like you would a distant acquaintance while passing on the street: notice, acknowledge, let them pass.
Keep breathing as you practice the flow of asana. When you are finished, notice the difference between how you felt before you started. Carry the new feeling and awareness with you as you step off your mat.
Practice 3: You don’t need to go to the far reaches of the earth and live in a cave to experience the benefits of this practice
Here is Practice 3: Meditate.
Meditate, ideally just before or after your morning asana practice. (Bonus points if you meditate before going to sleep.) Really allow the mind to rest in the vast open space of divine light. Perhaps, light a candle like your gratitude candle from this month's Gratitude Yoga BuddhiBox.
It’s not so much that you’re trying to get somewhere. You’re already there. It’s that there’s other distractions pulling you from being there. Sit with this awareness, what do the previous few sentences feel like if you be with them in your meditation.
Do you have a mantra or an “I am” statement to repeat while you synchronize you breathing, to take you deeper and higher? You could say “I am grateful” or “I am love” while really feeling into it. Or listen to a favorite guided meditation. There are mediation downloads in your December 2020 BuddhiBox, which can also help you settle the holiday mind chatter.
When you’re ready to end your meditation, take it slow, seek to open your eyes while sustaining the experience you had on the inside. Let your third inner eye, the one that “sees” in meditation, see into your everyday and guide you.
A Few Final Words: Caring (for you) is sharing, when it comes to the light of your heart
Whether you tried one or all three of the key practices mentioned in the BuddhiBox Holiday Survive and Thrive Guide, the generosity of heart you give yourself this holiday season will expand and touch the hearts of others.
You’ll notice your relationships are more focused on the now rather than a moment some time in the future. You’re absorbed in the light, and can return to it more easily when you notice that you can shine brighter. Your holiday spirit will be shining with genuine light. Remember you are loved. You are light. This holiday season share your heart, expand and spread that light! Have fun and enjoy!
With the deepest respect and love, Jennifer