It's December, and that means it's holiday time filled with an abundance of Christmas music, holiday movies, parties, decorations, family recipes, shopping, and more shopping. Although some might relish in the festiveness of it all, many find it stressful, and emotionally difficult.
The stress of getting it all done, kids home for winter break, crowded stores, and travel, can also cause a lot of anxiety. Many people might also feel sad, because they might be spending the first holiday without a particular loved one who died of COVID. Or maybe the feeling of loneliness is exacerbated, because those closest to you have moved away or are traveling without you.
Whatever the holidays mean to you, stress and emotions can run high. Emotions in and of themselves are not a tangible thing. We feel them, but we can't touch them. Some of us repress our feelings, and some of us impulsively act out, which can adversely hurt ourselves and others.
What can happen with our emotions is that they get stuck in our body. If you know anything about the 7- Chakra system, the 2nd Chakra, the sacral region around your hips and lower back, is the center of creativity, sexuality, and shame. When our emotions are stuck there, we could find it difficult to be creative, to open ourselves to sexual pleasure, and even feel shame about it. Doing hip-opener postures can help to release those emotions, and allow your creativity to reveal itself again.
Another example of where our emotions show up in our body is the 4th Chakra region around our heart, which is the center of love and grief. My heart has been hurting lately, because one of my dearest friends lost her battle to cancer on Thanksgiving Day. As a yoga teacher and practitioner, I'm well aware of the Chakra system and how to support my emotional needs. I know that in order for me to move through the grief, I needed to feel the grief, and do postures to release my emotions, not hold onto them. I cried a lot, but it helped me get through the worst of it.
The thing is, in order for us to manage our emotions, we can start by listening to our bodies. When we feel negative emotions like anxiety and depression, our immune system gets taxed by the flood of stress hormones, and doesn't have the capacity to protect us against illness. And since COVID is still "a thing," and variants are still emerging, we need to keep our immune system in tip-top shape.
Understanding our body and its response to emotions can give us the tools to change emotions that don't serve us in a positive way. Self-awareness is the key to what we don't want. The power is in us.
So to help you get through the holidays and beyond, we are gifting you an audio meditation recording guided by Live Free Yoga's Co-founder and meditation master, Tida Chambers. It helps you connect sensations in your body to your own emotions. Once you have this understanding of yourself, you have the power to choose whatever emotional path you want.
To access your gift, just click on the button below. Our hope for you is that you get through this holiday season with a loving heart, peace, and calm.
Note The recording is from our virtual meditation retreat we did in October called, "Unlock Your Wisdom Within." If you like it, we are offering another 4-day virtual meditation retreat starting January 17th. Click HERE to learn more.
Author, Phyllis Smith, is the Co-founder of Live Free Yoga, which provides yoga and mindfulness programs for youth and adults who serve them. She is also the co-creator of Lighter Being, a transformative mindfulness video series to help you find more balance, self-love, and a lighter state of being.
Photo by Kathy Tran