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  • Writer's pictureJulie Stansfield

Let's bring some Yoga cheer to Christmas this year....

Wow....another year has passed us by.  2023 has been a challenging year for many.....and it’s not quite over yet.


The annual countdown towards Christmas is in full swing, whether you’re ready or not. With all that involves.  The infectious excitement of your children’s or grandchildren’s expectations of “the big day”. Planning the family gatherings and all that entails – the fun, the laughter, the drama, or the sadness and stress.  Maybe this year it will be a quiet time with those nearest and dearest to you. Or perhaps, like me, you are preparing to spend the day in your own company doing something different.


Just like when we’re on our mat and our practice looks and feels different, we’ll all being experiencing something different leading up to Christmas.  And that’s ok!


I started thinking about Christmas, (I generally prefer not to...) as I recently read an article written by an Australian journalist – a single, child-free woman who lives alone, family on the other side of the globe, and its theme resonated with me.  She writes that “we need to normalise doing Christmas differently, and it can be whatever we want it to be”.  She intends to enjoy the freedom of doing exactly what fills her cup, and that is beginning the day having time on her own in nature, eating her favourite foods (cake for breakfast!) and pampering herself with a home day spa. Mmmm, that’s good for her soul.  What’s good for your soul?


Me, well I’ve pretty much done Christmas differently ever since Chris and I moved to Queensland from Melbourne – way back 1988...  We’d drive from Brisbane to Noosa early Christmas morning, walk into Tea Tree Bay, have a chicken salad with wine on the beach. Chris would surf and I’d laze on the beach – pretty idyllic, don’t you agree?  No hassles! Years later when we moved to the Barrier we went hiking and camping a couple of times.  We received generous offers to join friends, sometimes joining gatherings, other times preferring to have the day to ourselves.  When Chris died, I joined friends, needing the connection, the love. But always happy to have the day over, for another year.


The invitation to join friend’s family gatherings continues to be extended, which is lovely and appreciated.  I do though choose the freedom of doing exactly what fills my cup.  My Christmas looks different from most, and that’s ok.. Now that I’m living in Central Otago, I fill my cup by getting out in nature and tramping.  Last year was my first solo, multi-day tramp and I intend to tramp another track this Christmas.   I do miss the roast turkey though, as a packaged dehy roast meal is not really the same! 



However, and with whomever, you spend Christmas this year, I hope it fills your cup and is good for your soul.  Embrace those you love. Be grateful for the richness in your life. Relive the beautiful memories of those who are no longer with you. Life is to be enjoyed in all its beauty, harshness and ordinariness.  That’s what we’re here to experience.  That’s how we grow.


Don't forget to roll out your mat and do some rounds of Sun Salutations or a couple of Down Dogs, or even better lie with your legs up the wall before the merriness of Christmas day begins.


And remember to breathe!


Merry Christmas xo


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