It's the holiday season!
It's the holiday season. We are probably thinking about buying gifts for family and friends right now. But have you thought about giving yourself a gift? How many times do you give yourself a really important gift in your life? I don't mean a cashmere sweater gift. I don't mean a facial or massage gift. I'm talking about a gift that makes you feel blissful inside yourself, a gift that uplifts your spirit, that makes you more enlightened, more positive and more conscious than you have ever felt before. What kind of gift would that be, you ask? "I don't know any gift that I can find in my life that comes near that kind of gift," you say. "Where could I find such a wonderful and bountiful gift?"
Yoga has many benefits that impact our emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual states. These benefits are unparalleled gifts that we give ourselves through the practice of yoga. These gifts keep giving, keep enriching our life and keep stretching us to be more conscious and mindful. Yoga makes us less reactive, less resistant and a whole lot more peaceful. Now, that's what I call a real gift! And you know what? We can give ourselves that gift any time we want, any day of the year throughout the rest of our life.
During the holiday season, we get very busy, very consumed with ritual activities, family logistics -- the kids are home for the holidays and we've got to be prepared and get ready for the December stress party. Or the grandchildren are coming and you've got to figure out where everyone is going to sleep; don't forget to stock up the fridge at the grocery store. There are school pageants and office parties, and festivities of all kinds with churches and temples. You've got to get ready for the holiday shopping? Well, that takes more time than you even have.
More than probably any other emotional impact on our sense of well-being is the well-worn feeling of depression. I asked one of my yoga classes today, the most vocal class, of course, what causes stress at holiday times. Some of my yoginis already looked stressed out. Big silence in the room. No one wanted to answer, so I called on my most vocal student, a woman who I adore. I think her sense of humor and ironic take on life are truly amazing.
"Julie, what do you think about the holiday stress factor?" I asked her. She looked up at me with a stone face. "I think about all the people I loved who have died in December during the holiday season and it sucks." Julie, then said: "That's why I think we should practice more yoga in December. It makes me feel so much better to come to class and open my heart and mind." Everyone agreed.
My suggestion to everyone during the holidays is the same: Practice yoga more. If you just can't get out of the house, spend time in meditation for about 10 minutes twice a day. It can clear your mind and make you feel like you actually did get a spa treatment. It will open you up it to new and different experiences during the holidays. Now that's a great gift you can give yourself. And it doesn't cost a thing.
I am not immune to all the activities that ensue during the holidays. However, during the whirlwind month of December, I plan on retiring my stress and anxiety and focusing on yoga and meditation because this is the gift I cannot live without. This is the gift that clears my mind and brings joy to my soul. I can't wait to take my yoga class on Sunday; I can't wait to take a workshop. I can't wait to go to yoga with my granddaughter over the Christmas holiday.
My wish for everyone during the holidays is to think more about yoga and meditation and less about buying; think more joy and bliss and less sorrow and depression. And if you are not a yogi yet, treat yourself to an introductory class and see what yoga is all about. And if you have fallen off the yoga wagon the last few months, return to where peace and hope reside. Joan Moran is the author is "Sixty, Sex, & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer."
Join us for a yoga class this week! Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we are strengthening and toning at 5:30, 6:40, and 5:30 p.m. respectively. Anyone can do this yoga flow! Beginners and Intermediates alike. However, you must remember that we are going to be sweating and moving with long holds in between!
Tuesday and Thursday mornings...wake up with the early bird crowd! What a difference to practice before the sun comes up and feel the energy level boost! Both of these classes are Vinyasa Flow classes with a level of 2 to 3 and modifications can lower the difficulty or additions can make the sensation more appealing for a challenge. 5:30 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. Coffee is available afterward on request! This class is for beginners and intermediates.
Evening practices on Tuesday and Thursday involve the hips, thighs, and lower abs then the shoulders, chest, arms, and abs. Both of these classes are at 6:40 p.m. Beginners can enjoy this practice right along with those who have been doing yoga for a while.
Saturday morning we have Yoga, Yoga, Yoga at 9:00 (no Pilates this weekend) and at 7:00 our class of Intermediates are working on Poses of Challenge. Many of the harder yoga postures I still struggle with, but I know when I practice that I will get better and better! You should have seen my first Crane pose years ago....get up, fall down, get up, fall down...
This Sunday, December 11, at 2:30 p.m.we are working on Natarajasana, the beautiful Dancer pose, that strengthens and stretches the whole front of your body, and its related postures. Next Sunday, December 18, it's what I call "YOGI'S CHOICE" day. We will work on what you want to practice. In other words, remember that pose that you struggle with and need more time to get? Write it on a piece of paper and hand it to me as you walk into class.
The following week, December 19, 20, and 21, our schedule is the same. However, on December 22 - 29, we fly to CT to see all four of the grands! Our studio will reopen on December 30th at 5:30 p.m. I have lots of yoga DVD's to loan out if you are interested, please let me know.
A dear lady who is practicing with us and loving yoga would like to make a small group training at 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. This would be for the ones who want to get the yoga groove on before hubby comes home for supper. Small group trainings cost $10 or two punches on your card. If you are interested, please let me know as soon as possible. Small group and private trainings are all about you...I become the Jeanne in the bottle, and your wish is my command! (:
All classes, trainings, small groups last for 60 minutes with the last five as final relaxation.
Two upcoming events that we would love to know you are planning to attend...our low calorie, Christmas dinner on Friday, December 16th, at 6:45 p.m. and our New Year's Day - freebie yoga at 2:30 p.m.
7 more days of school to go...7 more days of school....Merry Christmas!
P.S. Gift certificates are available. $10 gift card for a one time visit. $45.00 punch card for 8 visits. $110.00 index card for 20 visits. $80.00 (auto renew) for one month unlimited. $432.00 for six months unlimited. $864.00 for one year with unlimited amount of classes to attend. Each class becomes cheaper the more you purchase. For example, one = $10 as a drop-in whereas one year of unlimited = $4.50 per class or cheaper the more often you come. Give the gift that keeps on giving!--
Jeanne K. Doss
Tranquility Yoga Studio Owner and Instructor
Registered Yoga Teacher - Yoga Alliance
Personal Certified Trainer - Cooper Institute
Certified Pilates, Aerobics Instructor
“Yoga is really trying to liberate us from … shame about our bodies. To love your body is a very important thing — I think the health of your mind depends on your being able to love your body.” – Rodney Yee
For more information, please call 918-371-3841.