Dark early mornings, crowded stores, and frantic (to say the least) shoppers come to mind when we think of the unofficial holiday that sits at the heels of Thanksgiving. However, the rising sun, a warm room with zen music, and yogis on their mats made up my Black Friday this year.
Teaching yoga while I am home for holidays breaks is more than “convenient” or “a great set up,” it’s rejuvenating, grounding, and incredibly rewarding.
Although I have the opportunity to teach yoga at school as well, there’s a comforting nostalgia when I am able to come back to the studios where I gained so much experience early on in my yoga career. I remember the summer days I taught on the outdoor deck, telling my students about my first year away from home, and working on remembering my sequences without looking at my written out plan for the class.
Remembering these classes reminds me how much has changed in the last four years. As college students, we don’t always realize how much we change and grow. I think it’s because we forget that we are growing- we forget we’re young- so we can’t imagine ourselves much differently than who we are today.
Regardless of age or stage in life, I think we all forget to take a moment to recognize how far we have come. We are always thinking about what’s left on the to-do list, what title we haven’t accomplished, and the places we haven’t seen. However, it’s what we have done, who we’ve become and where we’ve been that set the stage for everything that is to come. Without recognizing this, we lose the opportunity to learn from and appreciate each and every experience.
In an age of new not being new enough, there’s something to be said for going back to the basics.
Thanksgiving wins year after year as my favorite holiday, I find so much charm in its simplicity and values-based celebration. We spend time, rather than money; celebrate the gift of life, rather than new possessions; and fill our plates, rather than our greed.
However, with the holiday shopping season starting earlier and earlier every year, we run the risk of this holiday- and this grounding mindset- being lost in the shuffle. Regardless of stores’ opening hours, I believe expressing gratitude, whether its to others or to yourself, preserves the essence of Thanksgiving.
No, we may not be able to avoid the consumer-crazy season. However, remembering the value in what you already have may be even more intriguing than shiny and sleek items. Who knows, maybe you’ll even put down the to-do list down and cross a few items of your wish list instead.