Balance Your Holiday Mood with Meditation  
by: Vasanthi Bhat and Mary Farrington-Gargas

Meditation is an ancient system of science that can greatly benefit the modern family. Parents and children alike feel the pressure of busy schedules in this fast-paced, success driven society. Meditation provides the tools necessary to help families balance their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. The priorities in a family are often dictated by external sources. Yoga gives the family an opportunity to develop a lifestyle that is inner directed and fueled by love. This beautifully balanced life can begin by practicing just a combination of few yoga techniques each day. This month we are going to focus on how to learn to slow down to make the holiday season wonderful one.

Slowing Down Meditation (Dhyana)

Holiday is on our way. As much as we look forward to it, deep inside we get tensed. Feeling guilty to slow down? This is a common feeling comes across many peopleís mind. It is often believed that slowing down means having lazy time while not doing anything. YES & NO.

YES. It is taking the time out from the laborious work we tend to do or we must do which brings out frustration. Some of the examples are taking a break from your regular exercise routine or stressful activity that is too demanding, which, often cause tension and hopelessness.

NO. It is taking the time to do something else, which brings out energy! As the days become shorter extra sleep can help. During holiday season, we get excited and plan to do a long list of things. Inviting people over or get invited, shopping etc, sounds wonderful. Continuous strain drains our energy level and weakens the immune system.

Slowing down does not mean that you need to keep your mind idle by not doing anything. You need to shift your attention to something other than your daily chores to get energized.

Therefore, it is important to take the time to relax our system during holidays as well. Keep in mind that practicing relaxation techniques can increase your energy level. As oneís energy level increases the brain nerves are re-charged and emotions become up-lifted. Now the daily chores swept aside become easy. This whole process not only makes us feel wonderful, but also the entire family.

How to slow down?

  • Upon waking, spare few minutes to relax while facing the sun. Close your eyes, practice slow and deep breathing while paying attention to your emotions. Rid yourself of tension while exhaling longer as you compress the stomach, pause for a moment. As you release the pause, breathe upward from the stomach to the chest. Pause again. This is one round. It takes only 5-10 breathes to feel energized.

  • Throughout the day, try to be calm and spiritual while being conscious of your breath. This process helps store the energy which we gained in the morning and throughout the day

  • At the end of the day, spare a few moments to either watch the sunset or sit in your favorite place while rewarding yourself for being calm and spiritual. Sunlight eliminates feelings of depression. Also, exposure to light during these days will rejuvenate oneís mind, body and soul.

For more information on meditation, please visit and refer to the CD or Audiotape on ďMeditation for all walks of lifeĒ.

Vasanthi Bhat is an internationally recognized yoga teacher, author, publisher, and producer. She is also the founder of Vasantha Yoga Health and Fitness Center in San Jose, California. She has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 22 years.

Vasanthi has produced a series of Video tapes, audio CDs, and has written several books.

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