Mindfulness Tools for the Chaotic Holiday Season
"As we move into a season that can be filled with joy, excitement, lots of love, laughter, and giving -- or stress. May you travel the Higher Road."
This is the time of year when we tend to consume a lot. With Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving and Christmas all squeezed into 60-odd days, it’s easy to feel exhausted just thinking about it.
This holiday weekend try incorporating a little mindfulness into your day to balance out the "Black Friday" shopping craziness. Yoga, meditation and music are 3 of our go-to tools for cultivating awareness, improving focus, relieving anxiety and reducing stress - and all 3 help immeasurably in this often-stressful time of year.
Time to take a moment to reflect on that which you are grateful for and ease your way into the festive season as our little KOOSHOO team has compiled some of our favorite resources for mindfulness.
1) Do yoga at home with YOGA BY ADRIENE
Adriene is a happy, engaging and skilled yoga teacher who creates free yoga videos to inspire people of all shapes, sizes and abilities to connect to their body. We’ve never met Adriene but feel like she’s an old friend from doing yoga with her almost daily over the past year. She approaches health and wellness with a playfulness and sense of humor that totally resonates with us.
Best of all, her library of classes has a class for every occasion - whether you just need a 10 minute hit of energy or an hour of slow, mindful movement. Click here for access to her yoga videos - we hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
2) Meditate with 38,000 other people with SPIRIT VOYAGE
Not sure how to get into meditation or feel like you just need to be held accountable in order to stick to your practice? When you’re in it with 38,000 other people from 86 countries around the world, there’s a momentum and motivation that’s tough to find on your own.
Spirit Voyage, the online hub of Kundalini Yoga, organizes Global Sadhanas which are 40 day guided global meditations. The meditations are accessible to everyone (no experience necessary) and run for 40 days - the time it takes to create a new habit in life.
Participating is completely free and available via streaming video that’s easy to follow. We’re taking part so you know at least 2 others that’ll be meditating with you.
3) Meditate with a specific goal in mind with KOOSHOO'S own, RACHEL EVANS
If the Global Sadhana meditation isn’t resonating, or - even better - it has you hooked on meditation and you’re ready for more, we’ve got great news: Rachel, KOOSHOO’s co-founder, is a world-class kundalini teacher and has been sharing inspiring, accessible and sometimes playful meditation videos that have been watched by tens of thousands of people globally.
Every meditation has been shot in a beautiful and meditative corner of the world (tuning in for the vistas alone is worth it) and her engaging teaching style makes for the perfect, on-demand meditation when you need it most.
Whether looking to make better choices, protect yourself, gain energy or open your heart, there’s a meditation for almost every circumstance in life and the library of teachings is growing regularly. Start with this beautiful heart meditation for protection and projection:
4) Headspace meditation app
OK, we’ll be honest here in that we haven’t used Headspace - a guided meditation app - but we have spoken with people who have and they had good things to say. The beauty of this app is that it offers many different styles of guided meditations so that you can find one that’s just right for you. It’s also a great tool for when you’re on the go. Take a moment and help improve your focus, exercise mindful awareness, relieve anxiety and reduce stress.
5) Music for Meditating and Relaxing
There’s a lot of mindful music in the world but it can be tough filtering through the masses to find something that works just for you. We are working on creating some go-to mindful playlists but haven’t found the right playlist tool just yet. In the meantime, here are 5 albums we’re listening to and loving right now for their grounding and soothing properties.
1. Ageet Kaur - Haseya
A world music sound that is perfect for both meditation and all-day background listening. It's an album that we absolutely love and have playing in our office at least once a day. Listen to the album in iTunes.
2. David Newman - Stars
This is one of our favorite albums and we use several tracks in our yoga classes. One recent iTunes reviewer summed this album up nicely: "A perfect balance of folktronica and kirtan, with lyrics in English and Sanskrit. Artfully assembled and heartfully played, this one will get inside your soul (in a very good way)." Listen to the album in iTunes.
3. Guru Ganesha Band - A Thousand Suns
A beautiful kirtan album to take you deep into your meditation practice. A recent iTunes reviewer said: "This is truly another level of music being created in the kirtan world. GuruGanesha is AMAZING!! I love 'A Thousand Suns' - the song - it makes me want to sing from rooftops". Listen to the album in iTunes.
4. Snatam Kaur - Celebrate Peace
Uplifting, fun and ideal for families. There are a beautiful array of mantra and positive affirmation tracks. Any album by Snatam Kaur is fantastic but this one has our heart these days. Listen to the album in iTunes.
5. Steve Gold - Let Your Heart Be Known
We don't so much meditate to this album but its uplifting and inspiring themes, sing-along choruses and Steve's soulful voice make it an office staple. It's wonderful music for families and is almost guaranteed to resonate. Listen to the album in iTunes.Whether you live in America and are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, or you live elsewhere in this big beautiful world, please know we’re sending our very best your direction. We’re so deeply grateful for this incredible community and hope our mindfulness tools can help bring a little more calm and peace into your daily life.