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Holidays Described: Summary Descriptions & Themes

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Why it Matters & How to Use It

Why It Matters

Here you can quickly familiarize yourself with more than 100 holidays and observances. Why do we offer this support for yoga teachers?

  • We encourage inclusion and a global perspective. We want to help teachers be aware of what their diverse student population may be celebrating. Just by your awareness, you can honor others who celebrate the holiday.
  • Each observance has a history and is associated with a human desire to express something—often something very central to what it means to be a human in this very big world. As we become more educated, we can reconnect with the deeper meaning behind observances which may resonate with something inside us.
  • For those holidays that are new to us, we can learn about teachings, practices and rituals that may tap into a longing inside us. They may offer a new source of inspiration, a way to celebrate and reinforce our beliefs, and an opportunity to connect with others.

Of course, you don’t need to know about all of these at once. You will naturally build your knowledge a bit at a time, learning about a holiday that was unfamiliar to you or going deeper into the meaning of one you’ve never studied. Here we make it easy to focus in on what you want to learn about.

What You Can Do

How might you wish to engage in these worldwide celebrations? Here are some considerations, starting with simple awareness and progressing through more active involvement.

  1. You can simply become aware of the holiday. You awareness honors others who observe this occasion. And it opens your eyes to something new, inviting in imagery and messages related to the meaning of this celebration.
  2. You can go a little deeper into your learning and participation. You can educate yourself on the meaning, symbolism and traditional celebrations. You can participate on your own or in community, whether that is through creating an altar, wearing particular attire, lighting a candle, inviting a deity into your meditation or prayer, eating traditional foods, or joining a community gathering.
  3. You can share what you’ve learned with your students, teaching the meaning behind the holiday and potentially introducing one or more of the related themes.
  4. You can incorporate a related teaching such as a pose or pranayama practice,  a mythology or philosophy teaching, a teaching from ayurveda, a chant or other.
  5. You can design a class and rituals that are fully aligned with the themes of the holiday.

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