Christmas Yoga

One of the things I love about being away from home is that you have only limited possessions — for a while at least. I’m not brave enough to do this at home in the context of my normal life even though I’d love to really pare stuff down, but when I’m travelling for a few days or weeks I love the liberation I feel having little in the way of material objects, clothes, even books. There’s a freedom as much as a constraint in the limited choice of what to wear, eat, do, read.

Christmas is often a season of super-abundance of food and gifts (lucky me, I know), but this year I’m enjoying a sense of simplicity, keeping it real and focusing on the present (not the presents, if you’ll forgive the pun!). The family has flown in from three different countries to be together so we’ve gone light on gifts and celebrations have been very much brought together on the fly. It’s more about companionship and togetherness than anything else.image

Christmas Day this year began by watching the sunrise with Hubby (I don’t know what time zone my body is in, but it’s not the local one). I love being up and about early, enjoying that special feeling in the air and the quality of light as the sun comes up. And we were lucky enough to encounter a turtle on the amazing local beach.

Back home I called my folks in UK, and then we joined the family here for breakfast and presents — under a tree improvised from a green beach parasol and some borrowed fairy lights! We swam, had a long lunch to which everyone contributed what they had, and the meal ended with my young nephew singing Christmas carols for us (in French since he’s learning at school). Then more swimming and I raced up and down the beach with the nephew, playing games and clowning around on the sand. Finally exhausted I enjoyed a beautiful orangey sunset glowing behind the palm trees. Wow!

There’s not much obvious yoga in this post (though fear not, reader, I did squeeze in a simple practice somewhere during the day!) but I think it’s there in the background, informing how I experienced this day, how I experience every day. I am better able to appreciate the present moment, I’m more able to experience gratitude for what there is (and to express it to the people who matter to me), to ride more gracefully over the bumps when things don’t go quite right (this was a family day after all! 🙂 ) — as well as being more physically able to swim, run, and indulge in enough horseplay to convince a seven year old that I’m almost cool!

imageSomeone asked me to post Insta photos of yoga on exotic beaches while I’m away. That’s so much not my thing! But if I was being deliberately provocative I’d say this this pic is my beach yoga, because it’s just me enjoying being me. Natarajasana in a tiny bikini would not necessarily be more yogic than this –even if it’s what she had in mind!

Even if there were no turtles in your Christmas Day, I sincerely hope you’ve experienced some moments of peace and joy today and perhaps some togetherness. Mele Kalikimaka, as I’ve just learned to say (Hawaiian for Happy Christmas, even if to my ear it sounds a bit like something in Sanskrit!).

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