Imagine the look on my face when a lady asked me yesterday if I had begun my Christmas shopping…My jaw practically hit the floor. This is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and unless I am mistaken, we still have Halloween to get through, don’t we? Please don’t misunderstand, I love Christmas. Christmas is a time of year that tends to bring out the best in people. If I had it my way, it would be Christmas every day – in spirit anyway.
The Christmas Lady
I have a ‘built in’ loathing for the over commercialization of our holidays; we seem driven not by the seasons of nature, but by the shopping seasons…which goes a long way toward explaining the dumbfounded look I had on my face, but the lady had a point. Of course I buy gifts (or make them) for dear friends and family, most of us do if we are fortunate to be able. Planning in advance can be a very good idea, allow us to budget our expenses a little better, and perhaps put that little bit of extra thought into our gifts. As with Thanksgiving, Christmas is not about what you receive, but what you give. The amount of thought and genuine love we put into what we give – gift or otherwise – is returned to us many times over. Such is the way of Life.
Yoga gift idea #1:
Friendship: The Art of the Practice by Laurie Ellis-Young and Nancy Chakrin.
Released October 1st of this year; this eighty page hardcover features a collection of awe-inspiring photographs of friends practicing Yoga and friendship in beautiful settings around the globe. Friendship: The Art of the Practice couples this stunning imagery with inspiring quotes that reveal the unique bonds formed from the practice of friendship and celebrates the richness of these connections.
Laurie Ellis-Young is well traveled and has practiced and taught Yoga for thirty five years. Nancy Chakrin is a unique and talented artist and photographer whose friendship with Laurie began in Guatemala in 2008. Together, their journey in pursuit of revealing the magic of Yoga and friendship and the strength it brings led Laurie and Nancy to explore lakes, deserts, ocean shores, jungles, volcanoes and cityscapes. A perfect gift for a close friend you may wish to introduce Yoga to, or a fellow practitioner who would love the inspiration Friendship: The Art of the Practice will bring to their practice.
Yoga gift idea #2:
Metamorphosis: An Artist Envisions the Asanas of Yoga by Emanuele Scanziani and Jennifer Abel.
Released in October of 2008, Metamorphosis reveals a unique perspective of the bond between mind, body, form, and imagination. This illustrated book encourages practitioners both young and old to enjoy the shapes of the asanas and the objects or creatures in nature they mimic. Each beautifully illustrated page reveals brief descriptions of the asana as well as the meditative essence of the pose.
Through the illustrations by Emanuele Scanziani, our imagination comes alive in the morphing of human to animal, plant and inanimate object; allowing for a deeper, more transformative experience in our practice. In allowing ourselves to enter into this playful morphing of ourselves, we find the heart of Yoga – the bond between mind, body, spirit, and all of creation in all its diversity.
Born in Italy; Emanuele Scanziani lives and works from an international commune in South India as an artist and freelance illustrator. Canadian writer Jennifer Abel is an avid Vinyasa and Yin Yoga practitioner who resides in Seattle, Washington where she is actively involved in the local Yoga community. Metamorphosis: An Artist Envisions the Asanas of Yoga is an excellent gift choice for the young and the young at heart. Its playful and imaginative approach is refreshing and brings to life Yoga’s deeper, transformative aspects.
As far as Yoga mats go, for the money this mat is the “Cadillac of mats” in my humble opinion. The Yoga mat is made from PER Eco safe material and is biodegradable and Phthalate free. For those interested (I had to look it up), Phthalate is a chemical plastic softener that is reported to be the possible cause of reproductive or developmental problems because it mimics a natural estrogenic hormone. Many grooming products also contain this chemical, so please read the label or inquire when you are unsure. Back to the mat…so to speak!
- Exciting New Northern Lights Design that Illuminates Energy/ w Golden Sun Focal Icon
- Extra Long 72″ x 24″ Wide and 5 mm thick to absorb impact on joints. No odor, durable and long lasting
- Each individual mat has a uniqueness of its own and no two mats are exactly the same
- Aurorae produces the mats that consistently remain ranked number one in feedback and customer satisfaction.
I won’t speculate on the claims that the mat replicates the natural energy of the Northern Lights, but I know a good mat when I sit on one. Best of all, if you are a little ‘shifty’ when it comes to position on the Yoga mat, this mats large size will help keep you literally on the mat. Aurorae mats are easy to care for, comfortable, impact absorbent and non-slip. For the avid practitioner in your life…or yourself!
What about Thanksgiving?
What does any of this have to do with Thanksgiving? Very little, I admit. I am thankful for all of you, dear readers, and this website’s owner. I am thankful for Yoga, sunshine, rain, and good food to eat. I am thankful for “the Christmas Lady” whose seemingly wacky question led to this article. Planning in advance and considering the idea of making it a “Yoga Christmas” may help enrich the lives of those around you, as I am sure you already do. At the least, it may take a little strain off the pocketbook…and all of us are thankful for that!
Happy Thanksgiving…from my heart to yours.