Trying to find the perfect gift this holiday season? Save hours of scouring the internet or waiting in crazy lines, because the best present you can give this year is you! Or more specifically, your presence…
Here are the top 5 ways to give presence this year:
- Put the iPhone Down. After you’ve sent the “Happy Holidays” group text and skyped with Grandma in Florida, put the phone down for the rest of the day and really be with whatever you are doing and whomever you are with. The urge for more (to do more, have more) often comes because we are not fully taking in what we already have.
- Get Outdoors. Being in nature has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve our sense of calm, which can be helpful during the holidays! Renowned spiritual teacher Ram Dass is famous for saying, “if you think you are enlightened, go spend a week with your family”. When the kitchen heats up, get some cool, fresh air on a long walk together.
- Be Physical. The reason we yogis do asana is because the body is happening in the now. Take a yoga class together. Go ice-skating. When we are physically active the body releases endorphins, which contribute to improved mood and lowered bah-humbugs.
- Play a Game. Rather than “spending time” together in front of the television screen, do something interactive. Looking people in the eye cultivates connection. Playing games that require skill also works the parts of the brain responsible for higher decision-making and attention.
- Take a Mental Picture. We all do it: rush for the phone to capture a moment. Ironically, we actually end up disconnecting ourselves from what is happening and experiencing life through a screen. When you find yourself in a memorable situation, resist the urge to FB/Tweet/Instagram about it and instead try being fully in that moment. Take in the rich details of what you see, smell, taste, hear and feel and then post it to your brain feed.
It is easy to get swept up in the “stuff” of the holidays. The gifts, the food, the adornments. Try to remember that at the core of it all is an emphasis on togetherness and there is nothing more fulfilling nor generous than being truly present with those you care for. Happy holidays!
Sarah Ezrin, E-RYT-500, is an energetic and humorous yoga teacher, writer, and YogaWorks teacher trainer based in Los Angeles. With a profound love of travel, Sarah runs around the globe leading trainings, workshops and retreats. For Sarah, yoga is not about the tricks or the postures; it is about finding one’s center amidst the challenges and chaos of the world. She believes that life is short and that it should be spent laughing, with the people and animals we love, and doing the things we most enjoy, like yoga! For more information on Sarah, visit her website or connect with her on Facebook.