Christmas Presence

I grew up in a secular home and my childhood Christmases always left me wanting, no matter the volume or quality gifts my family was able to provide us children, the day following Christmas was always accompanied by profound emptiness; a soulful vacancy that all the presents in the world could not fill. My home was also a broken one and Christmas came complete with the magical gift of highlighting the dysfunction within my family something awful. Suffice to say that the Ghost of my Christmas Pasts stalks me to this day and, even though I am entirely conscious and keenly aware of this spectars origins and its unwelcome nature, I find that I am still trying to wrestle my stolen joy from its decades-long talons. 

 

Enter yoga. During a particularly hot practice earlier this week, while in Corpse Pose meditating on burnt out light bulb above me, I had an epiphany. I realized that I could practice Christmas instead of experience Christmas. I realized that I could take my attitude toward my yoga practice into my holiday experience and, as I do in yoga, choose to view my successes or failures as part of the Christmas-practice learning process. Yoga is not a destination, that is, you never really “ arrive” in yoga. The practice reveals that you are capable of poses you thought were outside of your ability, your balance improves, your ability to focus increases and you become stronger. Christmas could be the same. And, while Christmas Day itself might be “A Thing” on the calendar, it does not have to be the destination. That is, mindfully practicing Christmas every day of this season could bring about the same benefits I find on my yoga mat and who couldn’t use more balance, strength and focus? Can someone actually possess too much of these attributes? If so, I have yet to make their acquaintance. 

 

So I start today. If you see me at the studio and I seem a little awkward, it’s because I’ve embarked on a new practice. Perhaps you would like to practice with me? Perhaps you’ve been practicing for awhile and you can show me how its done. No matter where you are in your journey, you are welcome to practice with me anytime, Christmas or otherwise.

Stacy Manning
Hot Feet Fitness Instructor


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