Fa-la-la-la-la…let’s be honest
By Kristine Kaoverii Weber | December 8, 2023
Fa-la-la-la…let’s be honest – the holiday season can be rough. For many it brings up grief, triggers, anxiety, and family drama. Yoga provides some solid tools to help move through the season with a sense of peace and equanimity – and find a way to enjoy the inner quiet and reflection that’s calling.
There’s an opportunity to connect to a deeper reality – even in the midst of the busy-ness and noise. The invitation is to slow down, dust off your favorite restorative pose, pranayama, and/or meditation and give yourself some extra time to sink in.
As the light recedes and we head into the longest nights of the year, the potential for healing is great. There’s no light without darkness. Hurt, confusion, frustration, shame are signposts pointing us to new ways to being and doing. It’s from the darkness that the deepest wisdom takes root and emerges. I’m reminded of the beautiful Pāvaṇamāna mantra:
ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय। तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय। मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय॥
oṁ asato mā sadgamaya tamaso mā jyotirgamaya mṛtyormā’mṛtaṁ gamaya
From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to eternal life.
–Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.3.28) (Here is a YouTube video of a traditional version you may like, or perhaps this version, or maybe this one)
The purpose of mantras is to leverage the power of mind in order to evolve perspective. It’s easy to collapse back into negative thought and behavior patterns at this time of year. They can feel like a thick veil of darkness that’s inextricably woven into the fabric of your being, inseparable from who you really are. But if you can think about the darkness as a layer that rests, in almost a protective way, over your inner sacredness, then you can begin to see the possibility of having more choice as to how you want to wear it.
Sometimes life feels so heavy, like you can’t make changes. It is in these times that we can call upon a force greater than ourselves to help us lift the suffering and the heaviness in our hearts. Invoking mantra, prayer, or intention are ways of linking our awareness to the inner guide. She’s always present, awaiting an opportunity to assist and lead the way out of the darkness. She intimately understands the inner recesses of your mind, feels your innermost pain, and never gives up on you. She holds a beacon of light to guide your way.
Suggestions for Journaling/Meditative Inquiry
When I feel overwhelmed by negativity or darkness, how can remember to call upon my inner guide for wisdom and support? How can I allow her to care for me? How can I approach myself with kindness and self-compassion during dark times?
This blog has been adapted from from my holiday gift, 10 Days of Kindness Journal for Yoga Teachers – I hope you will download it and enjoy!
When you click on the link, it will download automatically – and I hope you will download it even if you aren’t a yoga professional!💖(If you have any trouble you can always reach out for help, firstname.lastname@example.org).