Every year, around this time, the holiday fitness marketing campaigns start rolling out and honestly whenever I see anything about burning off the calories that we're consuming during holiday dinners and gatherings, or keeping up your regular fitness routine, I literally cringe.
Like, I am all for having a consistent movement practice. But my movement practice is not a punishment for enjoying my mama's legendary stuffing (*shout out to my mama, Claire Denis who literally makes the best stuffing in the entire world).
I've been practicing yoga for more than a decade. And during the holidays I've usually maintained a semi-consistent practice (I flow and workout where/when I can). Rather than seeing my time on the mat as a burden or another thing on my growing holiday "to-do" list, I allow the practice to compliment my lifestyle in the moment. Oddly, I think this is such a misunderstood aspect of having a consistent movement practice: recognising that our lifestyles fluctuate and that our movement routines should too.
Christmas time can be a beautiful chaos. Whether you're playing Santa, running around trying to find the perfect gift for all your loved ones, hosting the family gathering, travelling through all of the new regulations, or perhaps you're spending the holidays without a loved one; the holiday season is a lot of things for a lot of people.
For me, the practice is my time to retreat from the hustle and bustle to spend some time with myself, to recharge my batteries so I can be present when I'm spending time with loved ones.
This is part of what inspired me to create our 12 FLOWS OF CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE. I wanted to challenge the typical fitness rhetoric at this time of year and to create a fun and intentional space that would give us something to look forward to each day, as well as create a space for us to pause and enjoy a small movement break where and when we can.
So, if you're enjoying the flavours and treats of the season, or if you choose to attend a gathering with loved ones instead of going to yoga or working out, just know it's okay. Not that you need my permission, but just if you want some solidarity, I think at this time of year we do what we can, when we can. Your practice will be there for you when you're ready for it. And frankly, if this past year has taught us anything, it's how precious these seasonal joys truly are.
Whatever this season is for you, I hope that you are surrounded by love and that you have a little time for yourself to recharge and reflect.
I love you all.