Holiday Self-Study (Svadhyaya)


With Thanksgiving arriving next week, it is officially the holiday season (in the U.S.) and with that it’s also the season of obligation; to families, to social norms, and to religious rituals.To me, this time of year can be grueling and I find myself clinging to my yoga practice because so many powerful, external pressures seem to yank me from my center.

There’s the social expectation to have some sort of “plan” to gather somewhere, with either your family or someone else’s, and participate in a frenzy of planning, shopping, cooking, organizing, traveling, picture-taking, wrapping, and praying. That’s a lot of verbs for six weeks and two to three holidays (depending on your religious observances).

Or maybe you have more of a non-traditional family of close friends and transplants from other places and yet you feel a void for not having what’s “normal.”

Deep, unconscious imprints can run amuck as…

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