christmas

Finding Meaning in the Holidays: Yoga & Meditation Tips

Michelle Finerty by Michelle Finerty | December 20th, 2013 | 2 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: breath, bridge pose, christmas, christmas tree, holidays, love, meditation, Pigeon pose, self care, serenity, Yoga

christmas tree

The other night, I was looking at my tree, decorated with the small number of ornaments that are meaningful to my family and me, and thought about how I grew up with a tree full of ornaments, each covering the one behind it. It was one of those moments of clarity for me, watching the tree in the dark of night with the lights sparkling: Less is more. Too many trinkets distract. It’s not about what you get or have. It’s about what you give, and the quality, not quantity behind that sentiment.

When You’d Rather Leave Home for the Holidays: 5 Nurturing Escapes

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | December 10th, 2013 | 1 Comment
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: African safari, Arkansas, Arlington Hotel, beach, Belize, Cambodia, Canada, Cannon Beach, Caribbean. Maho Bay Camp, Cascade Canyon, christmas, colorado, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Eco Travel, family gathering, Freestone Inn, Hanalei Colony Resort, Hanukkah, hawaii, holiday travel, hot springs resort, Kanantik Reef Resort, Kauai, Maine, Mazama, Methow Valley, New Mexico, new year's, North Cascades National Park, ocean, Ojo Caliente, Oregon, Pagosa Springs, relatives, santa fe, skiing, snow, spa, St. John, St. Thomas, Stephanie Inn, Stowe, The Sound of Music, The Springs Resort & Spa, Trapp Family Lodge, Vancouver Island, Vermont, Virgin Islands, volunteer vacation, voluntourism, Washington, Wickaninnish Inn, winter vacation

Christmas at the beach

“Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays…”

I can hear Perry Como crooning those familiar words now, evoking images of that Norman Rockwell family gathered round the holiday table, turkey steaming, silver gleaming, family smiling … The idea of home for many of us evokes thoughts of comfort, welcome, love and belonging. Or it should, in an ideal world. But the reality of going home, especially during the holiday season, may be very different.

Expectations often don’t match the inevitable reality: while you may be yearning for ‘peace on earth, good will toward men,’ the fact is, those relatives you don’t get along with the rest of the year are unlikely to make a miraculous change for a day or two. Maybe your children have fledged the nest and won’t be home this year. If they’ve married, they may be spending the holidays at someone else’s home. Perhaps this is the first holiday you’re facing after the death of a loved one. The thought of going through the motions in the midst of grief holds little appeal.

Whatever the circumstance, there are occasions when you may not feel like singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” with Bing Crosby. Spending part of the season far from stressful settings may be just the gift to give yourself … Or, you may wish to pack up the family just this once and go some place more restful, without all the hassle and hoopla — at least not any that you have to host and clean up after!

If you’re feeling impulsive, last-minute deals at the holiday season are often available to fill cancellations or leftover space — it’s worth a few Google inquiries, if you’re in the mood to mosey. So, whether it’s this year or another, here are five holiday travel ideas to restore body, soul or both.

Celebrate a S-L-O-W Holiday

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | December 10th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth | tags: activities, baking cookies, board games, children, christmas, family time, Hanukkah, holiday season, kids, movies, parenting, slow down, snowman, volunteering, winter

Mother and daughter playing in the snowSlow, in our culture, is a four-letter word. Slow is lazy. It’s unmotivated. It’s got an attitude problem.

Fast is where it’s at. Fast-track your career. Fast-burn your fat. Get results … fast!

I like fast as much as the next mom. I badger my children to tie their shoelaces faster, eat their dinner faster, make their beds faster. We run for the school bus, race to piano lessons, zip to the grocery store.

Best Yoga Pose to Release Holiday Stress

Chris Freytag by Chris Freytag | December 10th, 2013 | 6 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: anxiety, christmas, downward dog, downward facing dog, holiday stress, holidays, poses, relaxation, relieve stress, stress, stress-relief, stretch, stretching, Yoga, yoga poses

down-dog-croppedThe holidays can be a time of fun and family. But for many, it can also be a time of added stress — good and bad! One of my favorite ways to stretch tight muscles and relieve stress is yoga. Speaking as a type-A, high-energy person, yoga is the perfect antidote to this stress-filled, anxiety-ridden, wound-up-tight-as-a-drum world we live in. For me, yoga is like personal therapy!

9 Yoga Moves to Blast Holiday Calories

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | December 5th, 2013 | 4 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss, Yoga | tags: abs, arm balance, belly, Boat pose, body, Bound Lunge, burn-calories, Child’s Pose, christmas, core, Core Plank, diet, Dog Splits, downward dog, Easy Pose, eat, exercise, Fitness, flexibility, food cravings, handstand, health, holiday weight, holiday yoga, holidays, inversion, lose-weight, meditate, meditation, release, Revolved Pigeon, Shiva Kicks, Side Angle, side plank, strength, stress, Sukhasana, thanksgiving, thighs, Yoga, yoga for weight loss

GAIAM SIDE ANGLEHolidays are a time for family, friends and — let’s not kid ourselves — food. I love to go away for a few days and eat things I normally don’t in amounts that would shock a Sumo wrestler. Hence, it may be the season to be jolly, but it’s also a time when it’s all too easy to pack on the pounds along with the cheer.

Give Gifts a Good Reception

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | November 29th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: acceptance, christmas, gifts, give, giving, grace, graciousness, gratitude, guilt, Hanukkah, holidays, receive, receiving, Relationships, spiritual transaction, thanks

Woman with holiday gift

With the holidays approaching, no doubt many of us are making a list and checking it twice. Ensuring that we find just the right gift to give to those we cherish in our lives.

Yet the giving is only half of the equation. We’ll undoubtedly be receiving gifts, too. And while many of us are world-class givers, can we say the same about receiving?

How to Make the Holidays a Time of Positive Change (Even If You’re Alone!)

Laura Day by Laura Day | November 14th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: arguments, brother, change, christmas, communication, desires, dreams, family, father, fighting, friends, goals, Hanukkah, holidays, husband, intuition, kids, mother, new year's, parents, positive change, relationship patterns, resolutions, sister, thanksgiving, transformation, wife, winter

Happy family eating holiday dinner
You can make the holidays a time of dramatic change and healing by using your innate intuitive abilities in a conscious and directed way.

Holidays are supposed to be a time when families unite, when you are reminded of your childhood or revisit the memories of yourself over the years. You may be spending this time alone or far from home. But no matter where you are or who you are with, the holidays provide you with a unique opportunity to heal the inner patterns and relationships that have been obstructing your life and hindering your dreams.

New Year’s Wishes for You

Cynthia James by Cynthia James | December 30th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth | tags: 2011, affirmation, affirmations, beauty, blessings, change, christmas, faith, freedom, future, gratitude, growth, Hanukkah, holiday, HOPE, intention, journal, joy, life, love, meditation, new year, peace, prayer, Relationships, season, spirituality, thankful, thanks, universe, wishes

 Smiling woman in winter clothing holding a coffee mug

Happy Holidays,

As we moved toward the end of this year, I really began to contemplate how I, personally, wanted to end 2010.

Love Actually: A Holiday Classic

Stephen Simon by Stephen Simon | December 19th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Inspirational Media, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, christmas, Colin Firth, family, Film, friends, holiday season, Hugh Grant, It’s a Wonderful Life, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, Love Actually, movie, multiple storylines, Old Hollywood, Richard Curtis

Love Actually movie poster“The” holidays. Family. Close friends. The end of one year and the beginning of a new one. A time when one’s heart may be at its most vulnerable — either fully open to the warmth of all the love that the season can imply, or, perhaps, fully susceptible to the loneliness that can seem almost unbearable in the longing for family, a significant other, health, or peace of mind.

The Old Hollywood often embraced this season with films that touch the beauty within the soul of humanity, the best known and most enduring example being perhaps It’s a Wonderful Life which always plays innumerable times during this season (and in which I get lost each and every time I happen to flip to it when it’s on — I’m always hooked!).

For our family, another film has arisen as a classic Holiday film. Love Actually is “actually” that wonderful and it is a pleasure to be able to luxuriate in its dizzying and intoxicating recipe for joy, laughter, pathos, and life.

Handmade Holidays — Who’s With Me?

Ginny Figlar Colón by Ginny Figlar Colón | December 13th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Giving Back, Green Living | tags: art, Buy Handmade, christmas, crafts, crocheted coffee cup cozy, eco-friendly presents, etsy, fair-trade, gifts, green gift guide, hand painted, handcrafted, handmade, Hanukkah, holiday, holidays, homemade, jewelty, paint, photo book, posters, prints, recycled, silver pendant, Small Business Saturday, sustainable, wooden iPad stand, wooden school bus

Knitted coffee cosy

With the creation of Small Business Saturday (and its huge following!), there’s another movement taking shape this holiday season: Buy Handmade. People around the world are pledging to buy handmade gifts for loved ones this holiday season and ask that others do the same for them.