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Sandy

Holiday Meditation

When the holiday spirit gets lost and you feel as if you're hanging by a Christmas ornament hook, find a quiet spot, close your eyes and let your awareness drop into your chest. Breathe naturally, not trying to control the breath, just observing without judgement.  Sitting in an upright and comfortable position, follow your breath coming in and out through your heart. Allow each inhale to soften the inner space of your heart. Visualize a warm flame resting at the center of your chest and feel it's glowing presence. With each exhalation, the flame grows and radiates light throughout your body- front, sides and back. Continue watching the flame; inhale and it glows, exhale and watch it radiate. Keep softening and relaxing your inner heart and watch the glow of your inner flame spread throughout your body and spill out into the room.


Sandy

5 Steps for Creating a Mindful Holiday Season

To nourish your spirit during the holiday season, focus on supporting others less fortunate than yourselves. Now is the perfect time to practice selfless service and giving. Even when we feel as if we are staring down a list of financial hardships, there are always those less fortunate. As the economy tumbles up and then down, we can find peace and support by helping each other.

  1. Honor yourself, your neighbors and planet Earth by choosing nonviolence toward yourself and everyone around you.

  2. Follow your heart. Learn to listen to yourself through meditation.

  3. Contemplate how much you already have and what you really need. Are there things you think you need in your life to make you happy, or do you already have plenty? Cultivate gratitude for all that you have.

  4. Before you indulge, whether it's at home alone- or a room full of people, keep your thoughts in the present moment. Take time to consciously think about your motivation to spend or eat too much during the holidays.

  5. Be flexible in mind, body and spirit. Try not to be constrained by rigid schedules, and to go with the flow of life. Be open to all the possibilities during this season of celebration.

Giving can be more rewarding than receiving- open yourself to the possibilities!


Sandy

Is Your Holiday Glow Contentment or Overload?

During the holidays, it's easy to feel overloaded and miss out on the reason for the season- connecting with others. Our struggling economy, endless encouragement to take advantage of great shopping deals, and family pressures can lead to a holiday season that is the least peaceful time of year. Managing the holiday season is a real test of what we have learned through our yoga practice. Dedicate some quiet time now, before the rush gets intense, for some meditation on what the holidays really mean to you and your family. What activities support that meaning? Spend some time designating priorities that will make the holidays fulfilling for YOU. Looking into the past, what would you do differently this year to infuse contentment to the season? Use this meditation as a rehearsal- visualize yourself moving through shopping, entertaining and socializing slowly and consciously. Schedules often break down during the holidays and we eat and drink more. Become more supportive of how you apply yoga in your life. Include a simple stretch while waiting in line shopping, practice breath awareness when contemplating whether to purchase an expensive item; or spend a few moments with an empty mind at your desk. If at all possible continue your regular yoga practice to stay flexible in mind, body and spirit. Share with us what you do to create a contented holiday glow for you and your family, and what annual traditions your family has in place to warm the season!


Sandy

Top 10 Holiday Gifts For Your Yogi

Here is our list of the top 10 items that will help wrap up a happy holiday this season. 10.  Soy candles and fine quality teas from Treasure House Gifts. 9.  Organic/gourmet food items from Gateway Market. 8.  Yoga Journal magazine subscription. 7.  Chakra balancing body sprays from Aveda at Vesta Salon & Spa. 6.  Exotic loose tea from Gong Fu Tea in the East Village. 5.  Inspired gifts for creating your sacred space from Sanctuary. 4.  Indu Lotion, nectar of the moon. Handmade with mantra. In-stock at balance yoga lounge. 3.  Chakra balancing massage at Vesta Salon & Spa. 2.  Hypnotherapy sessions with Palmer Boyle to uncover your authentic self.   1. balance yoga lounge gift certificates!  What mind/body/spirit gifts would YOU like to receive from Santa this Christmas?