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Yoga Sutras & the Holidays

November 23, 2021

Practicing the yama & niyama through the HOLIDAYS:

  • ahimsa – non-harming
  • satya – truth telling
  • asteya – not stealing
  • aparigraha – not being greedy
  • brahmacharya – walking in the path of Brahma.
  • saucha – cleanliness
  • tapas – austerity
  • santosha – contentment
  • svadhyaya – self-study
  • ishvara pranidhana – surrender to God

Ready for the Holidays? That’s always the question, right? How do we manage to keep our discipline with all of that delicious looking food and drink coming our way? How do we behave around family? friends? How do we say “No, thank you” to some options without hurting anyone’s feelings? Well, it’s not always easy and it is something that is often better anticipated and planned for. Our yoga practice gives strength when taken off the mat and put into daily interactions and relationships. We can start off the holiday season with a little svadhaya and see ourselves as ambassadors of yoga in everyday life.

There are ways to support your practice while still participating in the holiday abundance! Can you make yourself a promise that you won’t start grazing as soon as food appears somewhere on a table? Consider tapas and wait until the meal is served so you can enjoy every bite. Are there some things on the table that you don’t eat? Practice a little santosha and be content with what you do have on your plate. Someone looking at your plate with disappointment because they don’t see their dish there? Try on some parigraha (the opposite of aparigraha) and share your winning smile and perhaps say, “It looks delicious, but I’m saving myself for dessert”… as long as that’s true, but remember, ahimsa trumps everything, so don’t lash out and hurt someone even though what you have to say may be satya.

Were you thinking that a little practice of saucha might go a long way? Absolutely! Get in there and wash the dishes, clean up the kitchen, serve others, be of service. And what about asteya? Don’t steal the silverware seems like an obvious choice, but what about not stealing anyone else’s glory for the day? Give credit where credit is due, thank those who contribute, contribute yourself!

Finally, I’ll leave you to reflect on the last two…. walking in the footsteps of Brahma and surrender to God. Remember Babaji’s words as you do: “Contentment, compassion and tolerance are the pillars of peace. “May Peace and Love fill your heart throughout the holiday season.

The Author

  • Mount Madonna Community Member

    Our community writers are accomplished authors who share their passion for yoga, mindfulness, and wellness through insightful articles on our website. Their writing offers actionable insights and personal stories of transformation, all written with clarity, compassion, and a deep commitment to helping others thrive. Whether teaching yoga or volunteering in the community, our writers embody warmth, wisdom, and a dedication to service that inspires us all.

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