Yoga is compassion, love, and acceptance. In asana we accept our strengths and limitations in the pose. This attitude brings peace to our mind, body, and spirit.
With a little effort, skill, and luck, this practice extends from the yoga mat to our wider life and our interactions with the people around us. We accept our own behaviors, and the behaviors of those around us. Things get easier.
These thoughts occurred to me while eating my fifth gingerbread maple cookie at a party this weekend. It really was the best cookie I’ve had in years. I was thoroughly enjoying it. But as I looked around the room and met eyes with a weight loss client of mine, I had a sudden pang. Maybe I shouldn’t be eating this cookie? Self-doubt crept in.
It then occcured to me that the guilt was a cover-up—a pattern I’d seen before. It was easier to feel guilty than to fully embrace the moment, and enjoy my cookie! Could I just accept this moment for what it was and enjoy myself? Eat my cookie and move on? The answer was yes. I woke up the next morning and did my practice. Not an ounce heavier—physically or mentally—than the day before.
My holiday message is this: love yourself, enjoy yourself, and accept yourself. Let old habits go and enjoy the food, parties, family, shopping, etc… that are part of this season. Acknowledge that you will eat and practice a bit differently than at other times of the year. Be present, and you will know if you are practicing in a way that brings you joy and peace.
My annual charity appeal: Doctors Without Borders delivers medical care to those in need in really difficult situations. They go places where there is often no one else to help. If you can, please drop them few bucks this holiday season.
Loka samasta sukino bhavantu
May all beings be free.