An Off the Mat Yoga Practice for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  I love this holiday.  If there is a contemporary holiday made for us yogis it’s this one.   It’s one of my favorites for sure, and a time to practice an attitude of gratitude.   It’s said that if you are ever stressed or worried and you want to break out of it in a hurry all you need do is think about a few things you are grateful for and the stress will disappear.

How come then there is often so much angst around the actual day itself when families gather?   Well, when families come together to celebrate so do our expectations.  From the back burner to the front burner come our forgotten dreams, our unfinished conversations, our jealousies and fears, along with our high hopes for something different.  And more often than not we end up right back where we were with just another reminder of how right we were about whatever we happen to be stuck in with our family issues.

Could it be different?  I’d like to think so.  For me, some of the elements of my Phoenix Rising Yoga practice offer a way to make it so.   Here are a few of those elements if you’d like to join me this week in a little “off that mat” yoga practice for Thanksgiving day.

  1. I will let go of my expectations.  Just like my yoga practice I will treat each moment as a new one.  Nothing that has happened in the past has anything to do with  “what’s happening now”!
  2. I will give gratitude for every moment that I share with those I love.  I am here because of my connection.  I will appreciate and cherish this time to celebrate it.
  3. I will give my full presence and stay present.  When the urge comes to run from the discomfort I will choose to “play the edge”.
  4. I will savor and enjoy the food that has been lovingly prepared – each and every bite, practicing appreciation for all that nourishes me.
  5. I will offer my service to the cause and volunteer to help wherever I can, offering an act of loving kindness to those gathered, practicing commitment.
  6. I will share with every person I greet at least one thing I am are grateful for in my life and invite them to tell me one too, connecting and inspiring.

So wherever you are and whoever you are celebrating with, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!