On the Om Front: Where to breathe deeply this holiday season

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All over the world, people will be greeting the Mayan shift with meditation. Where will you be?
PHOTO VIA UNITY

Do you feel like the world is always about to end? I do. Maybe it’s because we’ve been in a recession almost my entire adulthood. Or because I still remember everyone stocking up on toilet paper and batteries for Y2K. Or because it seems these days like there is always a natural disaster happening somewhere in the world, and if a hurricane or tornado or tsunami isn’t tearing apart a city or a village, some crazy dude is shooting people or devising a shoe bomb or proselytizing that everyone is going to hell in a hand basket lest we give up our immoral ways and fast.

But I have hope. Because dark cannot exist without light. And often, the darker things get, the lighter they’re bound to become. 

Just look at the cycles of the planet. This week, we are approaching the darkest day of the year. And what happens after the darkest day of the year? It gets lighter. This is the way our planet rolls.

So, sure, if you want to get all nihilistic, you can certainly think of these as apocalyptic times. But yogis all over the world are actually juiced about the end of this era. We hope it means the end of the self-centered society, and the beginning of a more unified, global awareness. Conscious conspirators are doing all kinds of things to bring light into our dark world. Recently a group of people came together to create UNIFY, a movement to unite people across cultures all over the world.

One UNIFY event is right here in San Francisco on Fri/21. It’s a flash meditation mob at Union Square that synchs up with meditation mobs throughout the planet (details below). Imagine thousands of people meditating all over the world — from Giza, Egypt to Jerusalem to Times Square — at the same time. If that doesn’t create cosmic shift, I don’t know what will.

I’m going to Union Square to join the crowds and meditate amongst my people. But if you can’t, you can still close your eyes and send good mojo out to the world Friday at noon. We can clean this mess up — but everyone’s got to get some hands dirty and say a prayer. That prayer can be to a deity or a child or a tree, but say it, and say it like you mean it.

In the meantime, check out our short holiday class list below for some of the yoga hot spots for solstice, Christmas, and New Year’s. And remember: It can be tempting to shop, overeat, and weep on your sofa as the days whittle down to their shortest. But if you find yourself in this unfortunate dilemma, pause, click your heels three times, and get thee to the yoga mat. Om.

>>SOLSTICE EVENTS

MC Yogi at Open Secret

Join MC Yogi and The Sacred Sound Society for an evening of light and sound to celebrate the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one, hip-hop yoga style.

Fri/21, 5-7pm vegan feast, 8-9:30pm concert, $15. Open Secret Bookstore, 923 C St., San Rafael. www.opensecretbookstore.com

Winter Solstice Celebration For The Turning Of The Mayan Calendar

Drum-in, sing-in, chant-in, dance-in, and ring-in the new millennium with Daniel Paul and Gina Sala. This sacred ceremony will include taiko drumming, ecstatic kirtan singing and tabla drumming and dancing.

Fri/21, doors open at 6:30pm, program at 7pm, $15 in advance/$20 at door. Nexxus Post Industrial Temple, Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way, Richmond. www.ginasala.com

UNIFY Med Mob

Head to Union Square for a globally synchronized flash mob meditation at noon, a part of the worldwide UNIFY movement. People all over the planet will be meditating at the same time to usher in peace and unity for the new era. Bring a blanket and a big dose of zen—it’s going to be packed!

Fri/21, noon, free. Union Square, SF. www.unify.org

>>CHRISTMAS YOGA CLASSES

Hot Vinyasa

Get your sweat on before holidazing in this steamy, fun celebratory class with Brad.

Tue/25, 11am, donations suggested. Urban Flow, 1543 Mission, SF. www.urbanflowsf.com

Hatha Flow

Groove with a mindful, strong flow class with Om Front writer Karen Macklin, and prepare your body and soul for a conscious Christmas Day.

Tue/25, 10:15am, $19 or class card. Yoga Garden, 286 Divisadero, SF. www.yogagardensf.com

>>NEW YEAR’S EVE EVENTS

New Year's Eve Yoga Celebration & Groove Party

Mark Morford and DJ Eric Monkhouse lead this awesome night of Vinyasa yoga, music, and celebration. Two hours of deep flowing yoga practice, intention-setting, and partying. Yeah.

Dec. 31, 10pm-midnight, $35. Yoga Tree Castro, 97 Collingswood, SF. www.yogatreesf.com

New Years Eve Sacred Celebration

Get down with Jasmine and Astrud of Laughing Lotus, in this celebration of yoga, chanting, music, and dancing.

Dec. 31, 9:30pm-11:55pm, $20. Laughing Lotus, 3271 16th St., SF. sf.laughinglotus.com

>>NEW YEAR’S DAY EVENTS

Iyengar New Year’s Day Class

Join Nora Burnett for an auspicious beginning to the New Year in this annual class of active and restorative poses. After class, chai and light snacks will be served.

Jan. 1, noon-2pm, $40-$50. Iyengar Institute, 2404 27th Ave., SF. www.iyisf.org

Stepping Forward With Purpose

What do you want from your life right now? Make clear intentions for the New Year in this two-hour practice with Darcy Lyon that weaves together asana, meditation, and creative exploration.

Jan. 1, 10am-noon, $25. Yoga Tree Hayes Valley, 519 Hayes, SF. www.yogatreesf.com

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