What do yoga and Christmas have to do with each other? Nothing really….except that yoga can be a much needed refuge throughout the holidays.
What do Christmas and grief have to do with each other? Both make the other more difficult.
Tomorrow is December first, and already coffee shops, and department stores are playing Christmas carols. Everyone is talking about their plans for the holidays, and social calendars are filling up with open houses, parties, and celebrations. If someone you love has died, all of this can feel bring feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness. The holidays, which once were lighthearted and enjoyable, turn challenging, and painful.
What to do?
There is nothing that will take away the pain and hurt of your loss, although, by approaching the holiday season with a realistic perspective of your needs, you can manage your energy levels and commitments, and create Christmas plans that support you and incorporate your loss into your experience.
Talk about your grief – don’t pretend it doesn’t exist. Find caring friends and family who can listen without judgement, or express your grief in other ways like writing in a journal, writing a letter to your loved one about your feelings. It’s important to talk about the person who died – although the memories may be painful, bringing them up and incorporating them can create linking and continuing bonds. Love doesn’t end after death…
Be aware, tolerant and protective of your physical and psychological limits. You may be experiening decreased energy levels, so be cautious about over-committing yourself. Take time to listen to what you need, and set boundaries that are self-supportive. It’s okay to not feel like celebrating and taking part in events you would have in the past. Plan ahead and decide which holiday traditions you would like to continue and which ones you would like to create as new – and at the same time, be conscious of your ability to modify your plans as needed.
It is most important to do what is right for you. This is where yoga comes in. Your yoga practice can be the time when you quiet your mind, and connect with your body to determine the answer to the million dollar question, “what is right for me?” Yoga is a time to be quiet and to look inside yourself for the answers. It can be as simple as 5 deep breaths, or lying down and scanning your body.
And, so…perhaps in the sense of Christmas and holiday “giving”we can re-visit the question, what do yoga and Christmas have to do with each other? “Yoga accepts. Yoga gives.” – April Vallei
Holiday Memorials in Edmonton
Grieving Parents Society Candlelight Service
Sunday December 4th – 7:00 pm
Knox Metropolitan United Church
8307 – 109 Street, Edmonton
For further information call 780-451-5381 OR email firstname.lastname@example.org
Parent Care Candlelight Service
December 15th – 7:30pm
Chapel of the Misericordia Hospital, 16940- 87 Avenue, Edmonton
St. Albert Bereavement Fellowship
Remembering Our Loved Ones at Christmas
December 14th – 7:30pm
It’s That Time Again – Going Through the Holidays When You Are Grieving
Saturday December 3rd – 10:00 am
Park Memorial Reception Center, 11015 – 101 Street, Edmonton
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