“My life is my message” – Gandhi
WelcOMe to December. The most wonderful time of the year – abundance of tasty treats, festivity, and a sense of gratitude in the air. The white pine garland and balsam fir wreath are hung, the fire is lit, holiday decor greets you at our front doors, and colorful pansies have been planted to replace our fall mums. We’re excited to share the hollydaze with you. I’m fresh back from sacred time in India where I spent my days writing, meditating, teaching or practicing yoga, and feeding tea biscuits to street dogs and sacred cows. Read more about highlights from my adventure.
It’s been an amazing year and a few highlights include serving 200 girls and donating $4000 through Tranquil Space Foundation, hosting inspiring team retreats, continuing our 1% for the Planet partnership, raising over $2000 for So Others Might Eat at our Thanksgivng classes, hosting monthly Second Sunday classes for various charities, adding more locally-made items to our boutiques, having teams at the AIDS Walk and National Race to End Women’s Cancer, graduating more talented teachers through our teacher trainings, teaching yoga retreats in Mexico, France, West Virginia, and India, sponsoring Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals, and teaching over 5,200 inspiring yoga classes.
Hollydaze have a reputation for hurried hustle and bustle. As we move into this magical time, my goal is to infuse it with a dollop of tranquility and I encourage you to do the same. Among the sparkle, scent of pine, and gift giving, it’s the perfect opportunity to practice the yogic tenet of svadhyaya (self-study). Here are my top 8 tips for staying tranquil during the season:
1. Indulge in Yin Yoga. This sacred, slow practice is a delight for calming the spirit and opening the body. We offer classes Tuesday and Saturday in Dupont plus Tuesday and Sunday in Arlington.
2. Gift Mindfully. Bake cookies for your office. Pack gifts in reusable tote bags. Give experiences – opera tickets, yoga classes, spa treatments, museum tickets, lectures. Go handmade. Shop locally.
3. Bask in Self-care. Get a massage. Take a mental health day. Light a candle. Soak in the tub. Do legs up the wall. Keep up your yoga practice – even if it is one sun salute a day before falling asleep. Yes, it counts!
4. Give Back. Donate to favorite causes. Adopt an orangutan (we adopted dodo). Visit a nursing home. Support karma yoga events (we have them on the second Sunday of each month). Sponsor a farm animal. Support Tranquil Space Foundation.
5. Savor the Simple Things. Shop online to avoid crowds. Sip tea. Bake pies. Simmer apple cider. Light a cranberry candle. Give hugs. Savor holiday treats. Smell invigorating peppermint oil. Host an intimate dinner gathering.
7. Reflect on 2012. Light a candle, pull out your journal, sit with your thoughts, and muse on the lessons and highlights of 2012. Do you recall your New Year’s intentions? How did they play out? What do you want to see unfold in 2013? Life is crafted by all of our daily choices.
8. Get Crafty. Knit a scarf. Bead a necklace. Create bath salts. Upcycle an old tee. Bake brownies topped with sprinkles. Frame a favorite photograph from recent travels. Paint. Dance.
These eight tips focus on savoring this special time, staying reflective, and indulging your creative spark. As you move into the darkest day of the year, use this be a time to turn inward and reflect. Tranquility awaits.
Thank you for allowing us to serve you tranquility for 13 beautiful years – our Bar Mitzvah! It’s been a year to remember and we are so very grateful for our cOMmunity – especially our talented team who makes it all possible. May December serve as a beautiful bow to tie around 2012. Happy, happy hollydaze.