Do you send your mother flowers or take her out for brunch every Mother’s Day? These are lovely traditions, but you might want to try something new this year. Drawing from yoga philosophy, you can express your love and gratitude with authenticity and intention. We hope the following ideas will inspire you to create a unique and memorable celebration. Let us know what unfolds.

#1 Connect with nature

Yoga leads us on a journey of self-realization by helping us understand our place on earth and connecting us to nature. That connection manifests at the base of our spine at our root chakra (muladhara). Gift ideas include:

  • Plant a flower, tree, bush or plant with your mother.
  • Take a walk together in a garden or park.
  • Find wonder in your own backyard or neighborhood.
  • Volunteer for trail clean-up.
  • Give to an environmental organization in your mother’s name.
#2 Let your creativity flow

Our creative life energy flows through body, mind and soul from our sacral chakra (swadhisthana). It is the seat of Shakti, our female aspect in the form of creative energy. Express your love by tapping into your creativity:

  • Write a poem or story about your mother.
  • Create a collage from old family pictures (scan them first!).
  • Draw a picture.
  • Visit an art exhibit together.
#3 Feel the heat, feel the joy

As we travel along the path of yoga, we become more aligned – emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally. The foundation of our personality and will to achieve originates at our solar plexus chakra (manipura). From our increased self-awareness, we begin to understand social patterns and our relationship to others. Tapas (burning enthusiasm) is the disciplined use of our energy. When our tapas is strong, we are on our way to personal transformation. Both manipura and tapas are associated with fire (agni) and vision.

  • Help your mother finish a project.
  • Plan an adventure.
  • Cook a meal together.
  • Enjoy a spa day.
#4 Spread your love and compassion

Our heart can change the energy of those around us and even the nature of our environment. Compassion comes naturally when we open our heart chakra (anahata). One of the primary principles (yama) of yoga is Ahimsa or compassion for all living things. This includes nonviolence towards oneself and the recognition of the unity of all sentient beings. There are plenty of opportunities to show compassion in your community or in the world at large:

  • Donate to a cause that is dear to your mother’s heart.
  • Serve lunch at a shelter.
  • Read to a child.
  • Visit someone you haven’t seen in many years.
  • Practice a random act of kindness

I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It is the ultimate source of success in life. Dalai Lama XIV

#5 Express yourself freely and honestly

Communication of our inner being to the outer world occurs primarily through the spoken word, but may include gestures, music or visual and performing arts (dance, drama, etc.). As we progress on our path towards self-realization, we open up our throat chakra (vishuddha) and freely communicate our feelings and thoughts with authenticity. Satya (commitment to truth) is based on the understanding that honest communication and action are crucial to a healthy relationship and community.

  • Attend a performance with your mother.
  • Take a dance class together.
  • Attend a Kirtan at a local yoga studio.
  • If your mother enjoys singing, go to a karaoke club.
#6 Pursue knowledge and wisdom

Our conscious perception of being, mental powers, intellectual capacity, memory and will all emanate from the third-eye chakra (ajna). It is the central nervous system’s command center. To foster intellectual growth:

  • Attend a lecture.
  • Browse a bookstore.
  • Purchase a class for your mother.
  • Learn a new skill together.
  • Ask your mother to recount a favorite memory from her childhood and record it.
#7 Be true to yourself

Most of us have experienced those moments of clarity when we feel one with ourselves and the universe. Practicing yoga (including asana, pranayama, meditation and mantra) can open our crown chakra (sahasrara). As our crown chakra unfolds, the division between our inner and outer lives recedes. We feel calm and ultimately may reach a state of Samadhi when our mind returns to original silence.

  • Attend a meditation class together.
  • Dedicate your yoga practice to your mother.
  • Go on a silent retreat.
  • Attend a spiritual gathering with your mother.

[Photo by wackystuff – CC BY]

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