My kids tell me that I relate everything back to yoga, including Christmas! They are right, because yoga means to yoke and by reminding myself to seek peace and acceptance during a season that can be filled with expectations rather than the gratitude it was meant to inspire, I am able to look around and count my blessings instead of the gifts under the tree.
This year, along with my yoga practice, I have been watching way too many Hallmark Christmas movies. But I swear they help me stay positive through this crazy time of year. I know that no matter how anti-Christmas that highly paid executive is or how lonely and stressed that single mother working the minimum wage job is, in two hours, all will be merry and bright. I laugh about it, but I do live with the hope that we all find love and the real meaning of life via Christmas or any other day we were gifted to live.
I am the first to agree that Christmas should not be about the gifts, but we live in a physical world where things we see and feel can remind us that we are loved. God gave us tangible presents. I see my body and mind as God’s gifts to me and I see yoga, prayer and meditation as my gifts back to God.
Practicing yoga feels like a communication between me and God, as I open up spaces in my body that feel like little windows and doors that allow God’s light to shine in and radiate out. Asana, or poses, are like those gifts you can use all the time, like a Kuerig, a Ninja blender or power tools.
Then there is prayer and meditation, where you let God speak and you send love to God and His universe with stillness, vibration, discovery and epiphany. These are like those gifts that are beautiful, so you display them on a shelf in your home. They can be beautiful words in a card or a letter that you put in a keepsake box to pull out when you want to remember who loves you.
So yoga is Christmas and Christmas is yoga. It is wrapped in and filled with love if we arrive there without a forecast or anticipation and let the hope and the moment be our present.