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Holiday Safety – Yogi Style

xmas-yogiHappy Holidays Yogis!  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  It’s that time of the year to give thanks, celebrate, and share the love.  It’s also that time of the year when we should be mindful of our safety and the safety of those around us.

Around the holidays, most cities in the U.S. see a big rise in crime.  Purse snatching, home robberies, and shopping scams are popular this time of year.  There are lots of theories for the jump, financial pressures to provide a holiday experience, lots of chaos and diverted attention at shopping centers and malls, and excess of merchandise and cash available in purses, homes, and cars.  Unfortunately it happens, but to a certain extent we don’t have to be drawn into this negative energy.  Here are a few simple tips to bring a little safety and joy to your holiday season.

Be Mindful – All of that drishti or single point of focus that you practice on the mat, now’s the time to bring it into your daily life.  If you’ve ever taken a self-defense course, one of the first things they teach you is to be aware of your surroundings.  Be engaged in what you are doing.  Focus on one thing at a time.  If your making a purchase, get off the phone.  If you are leaving the house, be sure to set the locks.  If you are heading out into traffic, know where you are going.  Settling the mind and being aware of the task at hand is one of the biggest things you can do to ensure your safety.

Bring Your Own Bags – This might seem like a no-brainer and you’re probably religious about bringing your bags to the grocery store or farmer’s market.  But, what about the mall or boutique?  Using your own shopping bag is not only good for the environment, it’s great for your safety.  Personal bags will mask where you’ve been shopping, it won’t be clear if you’ve been to the jewelry store or the bread store.  They are also sturdier and are easier to carry.  The less you have to juggle and manage, the more alert you can be when perusing the mall or walking out to find your ride.

Samastitihi or Equal Standing – It can be easy to get bogged down with winter gear or with your full reusable shopping bags.  If you’re all tied up and you misstep or hit a patch of ice, it’s more likely that you’ll be injured.  If you’re distracted and bogged down with packages, you’ll be an easier target for theft.  Finding strong standing and walking posture, with arms free from restraint will help protect you.  Imagine you are in tadasana or mountain pose.  With legs strong, spine long, and gaze forward, move with a purpose.  A stable, strong, and confident holiday reveler will be much less of a target for thieves or patch of ice.

Namaste – Darkness happens, there is crime, that is reality.  So, be the change, be light for others.  Donate your money, time, and energy.  Volunteer to provide gifts for a family in need.  Sign up for a mentoring program.  Bring food to a pantry.  Adopt a pet from a shelter.  Give gifts of your heart and your energy.  There are countless ways to spread light!

Best wishes for a safe and light-filled holiday for you and your loved ones!

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