5 Ways to Support Your July 4th Celebrations
Here at Yoga International we believe that though the paths we take are many, the goal is ultimately the same: Freedom. The Fourth of July is the perfect time to reflect on what this means, not just as a country, but personally. As we’ve prepared for this holiday, we’ve kept our practice in mind and want to share a few helpful tips we've learned with you. So, from our tradition to yours, here are 5 ways to support your 4th of July celebrations.
1. Breathe. Although fun, with all the planning involved, holidays can feel a bit stressful at times. As we tense up, old habits often emerge, such as holding the breath, or simply being too hard on ourselves. Luckily, this is the perfect time to return to our hatha practice. Before your family gathering, take some time out to slow down and build ojas with a gentle restorative class. Or, if you’d like to challenge yourself, Kat Heagberg’s insight into eka pada galavasana (flying crow) might just do the trick. We hope these classes, along with many others offered daily on YogaInternational.com, will lighten your load, leaving you free to enjoy festivities with family and friends.
2. Travel mindfully. Let’s face it, holidays often mean traveling. Although it may be necessary in order to spend time with loved ones, it's not always the most pleasant experience. We're here to help you stay mindful and healthy with 9 Ayurvedic travel remedies to ward off side effects en-route, such as insomnia, jet lag, and dehydration. Nasya oil is also the perfect remedy for that dry, airplane cabin air so that you can breathe easy - don't leave home without it! And when you find yourself waiting at the terminal, bus stop, or riding in the passenger seat, remember that you can take your meditation practice on the go with japa mala.
3. Veggie cookout! The 4th is notorious for its processed hotdogs and mystery-meat burgers, but this holiday season, let’s keep it real with whole foods. If you’re planning a cookout, try our grilled carrot dogs and quinoa burgers as healthy alternatives. Their preparation leaves room for creativity, so add all your favorite toppings, and even grill outdoors if you like! Pair these dishes with a few tasty sides, like our summer tomato salad or a crispy and fresh kosumbri.
4. Get summer-ready. Whether you’re planning to spend the day poolside on the 4th or simply preparing for the heat of summer in general, why not purchase what you need from sustainable companies who make great products and give back to the community at the same time? This season, Yoga International contacted 12 companies committed to social, environmental, and economic change. We’ve done the work so you can feel good about your next summer purchase. Refer to our 2014 product guide for more information - we hope you’ll find just what you’ve been looking for, from sunscreen, to picnic gear, and more!
5. Connect to yourself. The holidays can shed light on connections of all kinds – from the foods we eat, to the people we spend time with. According to yoga philosophy, relationships can help us to ultimately connect with our highest self and come one step closer to true freedom.
Now that we're more prepared for this exciting holiday, let’s take a step back and enjoy each moment. Let the fireworks dazzling in the sky above you remind you of your own true nature. It’s luminous.
Kathryn is an associate editor at Yoga International. She found her way to yoga one starry night in Portugal at Monte Sahaja (the ashram of advaita master Mooji). Now she lives at the Himalayan Institute, where she continues her studies. She views yoga primarily as a healing practice that can re-awaken a sense of wonder, purpose, and (to quote one of her teachers, Rolf Sovik) "relentless optimism."