Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Gift of Yoga by Jessica Addeo

by Jessica Addeo

Present over perfect.
Quality over quantity
Relationship over rushing.
People over pressure.
Meaning over mania.

-Shauna Niequist 
The holidays are upon us and as always it is a shiny, bright, and dazzling time of year. All year round life has the capacity to be beautifully busy and full. However, during this particular season, the fullness feels ever-present. As the expectations and commitments pile on, it can all start to feel overwhelming. The to-do lists are long, but connected to something meaningful. How do we stay connected to the meaning of it all? We practice.
We practice on our mat. As we move our body and breath to the tempo of the instructor we begin to come back to ourselves. Slowly the only thing that matters is feeling your foot on your mat, or feeling your shoulder blades wrap around the back of your heart or even just your breath. You leave class feeling refreshed, nourished, and grounded. In this space you begin to remember why you do all the things you do this time of year. The to-do list shifts from a never ending set of expectations to carry on your shoulders, to a representation of the love you feel and want to share. How do we keep this feeling with us as we move off of our mat and into our daily lives? Again, we practice. 


This time we practice off of our mat. As we go about bringing to life the traditions we hold near to our hearts we feel the four corners of our feet underneath us and know that we are grounded. We feel our breath and know that we are present. We hear our teacher’s words whispering in our head and we keep coming back to ourselves. We shift to a place of awareness inside where we begin to feel everything around us more fully and clearly, without the overwhelm. The beauty this time of year has to offer becomes the center of it all.  This is the gift of our practice. It is what makes yoga at Shree so meaningful and special. And most importantly it is what keeps you connected to the meaning, your meaning of the holiday season, and not just to all of the external factors that this time of year elicits.

The “perfect” holiday is one where people come together who are happy, connected and present. You can show up for your loved ones with perfectly executed traditions but on the inside feel frazzled and disconnected. Or you can choose to practice, both on and off your mat, and bring to the holidays a grounded, present version of you. Taking a yoga class when you have so much else to do can seem like just one more thing on the to-do list, but when you realize the present this practice has to offer, it seems like the perfect addition to your festivities.

Check our schedule to see when you can give yourself the gift of yoga.

Happy Practicing and Happy Holidays from Shree Yoga