Christmas! I am a HUGE fan. My favorite part of Christmas is decorating the house. My son and I have a tradition that the first Saturday of December we get all the decorations out and with a cup of hot chocolate and Christmas songs playing in the background. We lay everything out and while I plan out the space and meticulously color coordinate, he proceeds to steal all my decorations and throw them haphazardly at his mini tree that goes in his room. He’s 7 so over the years I have learned to enjoy the chaos in the midst of my obsessively organised process as I know he will grow out of this ritual and at that point I’ll miss all the things that annoy me, so I try (very hard!) to love them instead 😉
For me, this is what Christmas is all about. As I have learned to let go of the extremely high expectations of perfection – magazine worthy decorations, a month filled with traditions and rituals that your child will remember forever (I just hope he doesn’t remember all the times I forgot to put a chocolate in the advent calendar!) the feast of the year, not to mention the gallons of mulled wine and mince pies but still trying to fit into that stunning sequinned LBD! – Christmas is now all about nesting, family, letting go of things that I don’t need from the year we are leaving behind and getting excited about the possibilities of the year we are about to ring in. Bliss!
I can thank Yoga for teaching me how to release these expectations, let go of the perfectionism and be ok with the (more than likely) occurrence of something not going quite to plan!
So let me share with you a few ways Yoga can enhance the beauty and magic of the holiday season…
- When you are super busy, it is so important to be organised and have a plan. But it is equally important to be able to Let Go of this plan if you need to change things and adapt to a new set of circumstances. I absolutely adore this Nick Mulvey quote “the only way to hold on is keep letting go“…If you suffer from the perfectionist affliction (as I do) make this your mantra!
- As above, plans are important, as is letting them go, but a great habit to get into is setting an Intention to go with your plan. Thinking about how you would like something to pan out, like actually imagining what it might be like if it were to go the way you wanted. Also thinking about the way you would like to feel. And honestly, don’t just save this exercise for the big elaborate events, taking a bit of time out to think about braving the crowds to do the Christmas shopping can actually help make standing in queue for half an hour not so bad, because you already knew this was a possibility and you felt pretty calm when you were visualizing it, so it’s all good 😉
- If there is a “To Do List”, make sure one of the items is “Me Time“. If you are the one who plans, shops, cooks, decorates while doing all of your other “normal” jobs and the extra parties and visits to Santa, you need to prioritize some Me Time! It doesn’t have to be an elaborate or expensive spa treatment (although this is certainly nice if you can manage it!). Taking a blissful hour for yourself to do 15 minutes of yoga, 15 minutes of quiet reflection, journaling, reading something inspiring and then a 30 minute soak in the tub, you’ll tackle the rest of the list from a calmer place and this will absolutely make you more efficient in the long run.
- Practicing Mindfulness and being present in the moment is really what Christmas is all about. It’s not about all the gifts or the parties or even the turkey! It is about those moments of joy when your child opens his gift from Santa and the look on his face. It is about having fun with friends you haven’t seen all year and dancing to silly Christmas songs. It is about sitting around a table of home cooked food, food made with love, with the people you love and sharing the ups and the downs and ridiculous moments of the past year. So even when you’ve got a billion other things you need to get done, people you need to see, presents you need to buy, take a moment to breathe, close your eyes, set an intention to be 100 % right here, right now,open your eyes and immerse yourself in the moment. This is what Christmas is all about.
The beauty of all of this is you don’t need to buy anything, or wait until a certain thing happens, or wait until next Christmas when you’ve got it all “together” or “more time”…these tiny little pockets of peace and acts of intention are so doable, right now!
If you would like to join me at Aislinn Yoga Lodge on the 15 December to put all of the above into practice on your mat, I would absolutely LOVE to share this practice with you! This will be the last Yoga Immersion of 2018 , click on the button below for more info
I wish you all a very happy and peaceful holiday season with tonnes of good wishes and prosper for the New Year. Much love and light…