Many of the holidays have lost much of their original intent, or become really commercialized. Others have just become a good time to get together and celebrate community, but no matter what or how you celebrate, these are times set aside from our normal experience.
Days of observance, where we are to remember, where we are to bring solemnity, honor, and thanks for sacrifice and service. What can we learn, because I firmly believe that if we forget the past we're destined to repeat it; so, what can you learn from the intention, not the actual way your holiday weekend rolls out, but what can you learn about observance? What can you appreciate the value of, and in what way can you make time out of time more memorable.
Observance, self-study, witnessing. These are basic tenets of the asana practice as I see it and practice and teach it. We can use the practice to help create that space where we can witness ourselves, moving away from judgment and into observation. In that observation, we can begin to recognize those habitual reactions, judgments and limitations that we've become ensured to.
While it's valuable to do this work in the safe space of the asana practice and the yoga studio, we must be able to hold that consciousness, and carry those lessons into the world. It's not all about your mat! What skills --- breath, ease, persistence, concentration, compassion --- can you bring from the mat into your experience? Are you gaining skills for an hour a day of your life, or for your life?
Here's my double-down-dog-dare for you: go boldly forth into the insanity and pleasure or pressure and fun or obligations that you've got arranged for your holiday weekend. And jump right in and participate. And then, every once in a bit, just 'sit back' mentally and observe - yourself, your interactions, the role you play, the habits, the tendencies. Don't judge, just observe.
See what you notice - laugh at the game. Make a simple change, be a little nicer or set a firmer boundary. Step up, or let someone else lead. Just try to see how you are begin you, as you are being you. Enjoy the holiday, enjoy your friends, enjoy yourself, and enjoy observing yourself enjoying yourself!
And give thanks and praise!