giftsDoes gift-giving (and receiving) leave you stressed, rushed and flustered? The breathing principles of yoga can help us focus on the pleasure of the moment.

The following article was written originally as a holiday reminder. My kids are currently in the throes of one birthday party after another and their own are coming up soon. After re-reading Stacy’s gentle reminders, I realized how appropriate they are for gift giving throughout the year.

Giving and receiving are an important spiritual practice.

Becoming conscious of how we give a gift, or how we give our time, can teach us a lot. What is our intention in giving? Do we have a desired result or expectation of the receiver? Can we give freely without attachment to the outcome? Can we give purely for the joy of giving?

Understanding how we receive gifts is another place where we can learn. Do we let ourselves feel the joy of receiving a present? Do we feel it’s better to give than to receive–thus diminishing our pleasure in receiving and diminishing the joy of giving for our loved ones?

Sometimes the most special gifts we give are not the most expensive but the gifts that come from our hearts. Perhaps the best present whether we’re giving or receiving is in our presence!

Remember your yoga. Remember the present moment. Remember the present moment can always be found in the breath.

Make your time more fulfilling and live each moment by breathing in and out as you give and as you receive. You will feel more connected to your loved ones and your family will feel more connected to you!

Blessings and peace!

Stacey Bell is a yoga instructor, Alexander teacher and Craniosacral therapist in the Greenwich, CT area.  Her love of movement and stillness inform her teaching, her practice and her life!  In addition, Stacey is practicing the yoga of motherhood with daughter Chloe Skye Elder. (