“Motionless in a posture, breathing into our physical, emotional, and psychic experience of the moment, we are profoundly present, still, and connected.
Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat
Day 342 – Like many holidays, I work at creating a moment to remember for the kids and our family, and it must work because everyone wants to come over and see Grandma and Grandpa and exchange presents. It really doesn’t matter the time, everyone wants to go through the tradition of seeing my parents and being together, although like all families, it gets complicated as the kids get older, work, and bring new family members into the fold. It is complicated by the fact my parents are getting older, too, and I feel terribly nostalgic and selfish in wishing it was like “the old days,” when my parents really wanted to be a part of it all and weren’t in constant pain and illness and old age had not beset upon them a list of complaints about every movement, social ill, and lifestyle choice of their others. In short, like many holidays, I feel the need to judge myself harshly. It is not relaxed and I am not at ease at all, and I have a sense of those around me are the same, and in fact, I know my parents are because they have told me so.
Rolf recommends that we spend periods on the mat whereby we minimize the contemplative aspects of asana, “only to return with wonder at the realization of just how profoundly anchoring…asana practice is.” He does this without expectation so that “pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, steady, effortless, flowing attention” is accessible and available because this is the stuff that helps us with feelings of shortcoming, anxiety, and self-judgment. Not only am I feeling others’ angst, but I am terribly aware of my own, and yet there is a stillness and an availability of love in the season.
Tonight, Bug and I will climb on the yoga mat after our early Christmas eve dinner (we are hosting at 3 to accommodate all). We will flow and move through a nice little practice, and I’m sure this will reset us. Returning to the present moment with each breath feels real and needed. I always wonder if I’m the only one pretending at holidays. At Yule, I felt the magic because it was about friends, communion, music, and returning to the wonder of how profoundly anchoring the wheel of the year can be.