A Wish for the Holidays

On Thursday I taught my annual Yoga of Thanksgiving workshop at Whole Life Yoga.  This year’s class was special, because it took place so soon after the death of my mother.  Rather than allow my first holiday without parents to be a sad one, I decided to make it a gift. I gave to my students the qualities I was personally seeking during this time of transition.  Our practice revolved around embodying those qualities.

    • Peace: Both existential peace in our often-crazy world and security in ourselves, our homes, and our relationships. Symbolized by our connection to the earth and the root chakra, which is the seat of security and safety.
  • Joy: Which comes from creativity and play. Symbolized by the belly, which houses the seed of all that is creative within us. Joy is so important, because when we have it, we can share it with others.
  • Hope: Which, I believe, comes from courage.  Finding hope during tough times isn’t a gift or a given. It’s a practice that takes concerted effort. Hope, to me, is symbolized by the solar plexus, the seed of confidence and courage.
  • Love: The ability to both give and receive love, not only to others, but also to ourselves. Symbolized by the heart.
  • Faith: This is a loaded word for many, but it represents the ability to connect with something beyond ourselves—something that gives us guidance and helps us strive to be better. It’s symbolized by the crown of the head, seen as the connection point with all that is beyond us.
  • Light: Which provides guidance to find our way in the world, but also serves as a reminder that even in the darkest days of winter, we have within ourselves a clear blinding light. We symbolized that light by reaching our arms out to the side.

At the end of the practice, each student selected one or more stones that I had specially created for that day. Each was engraved with one of the qualities we had embodied in our practice. That stone will hopefully serve as a reminder to live the above qualities on those not-always-easy days outside of the yoga studio.

The true power of yoga lies not in the postures.  It lies in intention.  The meaning we give to our practice.  I hope the Thanksgiving practice helped my students plant seeds that will guide them, not only during the holiday season, but for the rest of their lives.

May those qualities live within you, too.


Tracy Weber

Preorder my newest mystery, KARMA’S A KILLER, now at Amazon Barnes and Noble or a bookstore near you!

Check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  A KILLER RETREAT and MURDER STRIKES A POSE are available at book sellers everywhere

11 thoughts on “A Wish for the Holidays

  1. Pingback: A Wish for the Holidays » Hot Yoga Blog

  2. Barbara Hutchins

    Some lovely thoughts Tracy. Thank you. If I may I will share some of these with my students. Peace and hope to you my Teacher.

  3. Christina Boyd

    Thank you for this wonderful list. I especially loved your “faith” point – in today’s environment, I sometimes find it hard to simultaneously associate faith with peace and calm. However, faith is not limited to a narrow definition, and you are completely right in saying that it is simply connecting and belonging to something bigger than ourselves. Happy holidays! 🙂

  4. Wendy Condrat

    Please accept my condolence for your recent loss and kudos on your first book which I enjoyed! I am so interested in the aspects of yoga therapy you have embraced since I have taught and studied yoga in the Krishnamacharya lineage from which Gary Kraftsow emerged,the Founder of Smerican Viniyoga Institute and one of my teachers from time to time. I am a retired RYT-200 instructor from Wyoming who lives and practices yoga in Woodinville with Pamela Chang and Casey Stewar of Root 2 Rise. Your studio schedule and therapeutic applications are the first of its kind for me here and I think you are offering a very comprehensive program. I do not see the usual hot yoga stuff going on at Whole Life which is courageous in this trendy area of yoga. I definitely hope to come in and take a class with you Tracy and hear more of your philosophy. Very impressive work!

    1. Whole Life Yoga Post author

      Hi Wendy and thanks for reading! I have graduated from Gary’s 500 hour training and his yoga therapist training. And everything taught in my studio aligns with that philosophy! I do hope you come take a class from me someday, and that you read and enjoy more of my series! Book 2, A KILLER RETREAT is out now, 3 KARMA”S A KILLER is out in January, and I’m working on #4!

  5. Joanne Kocourek

    Tracy, I truly appreciate this post/message. I’m really struggling with finding most of the points you listed (which is quite atypical for me) in your post relative to a mix of circumstances over which I have absolutely no control. For some reason emotionally, this Christmas is hitting much harder than other recent years. It is truly difficult with a hurting heart. Praying God fills your coming year with all that’s best and blessed as the New Year unfolds with endless possibilities bringing hope. To wish you bright moments of happiness, quiet moments of beauty, and a year filled with all the good things you deserve! May serenity touch you gentle every morning, May peace be your companion through each day, and in every restful hour, May dreams renew your soul. Wishing your family and you a year of health, happiness, and all good things.

    1. Whole Life Yoga Post author

      So sorry you’re having a tough holiday. Thank you for all of your good thoughts. So beautifully written….


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