How does a Yogi celebrate Mardi Gras?
The carnival season culminates in Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent. When the entire city of New Orleans shuts down for Mardi Gras revelry. We indulge without guilt, people united together in one big party. FUN!
How can we overindulge for the entire carnival season and remain guiltless? If you don’t know, you’re not from New Orleans. 😉
I find it interesting that often New Orleanians “give up” something for Lent, and the commitment is more serious than a New Year’s resolution. Why? Maybe because there is a 40 day time limit? Religious beliefs? Maybe peer pressure? Just about everyone is doing it.
What do they “give up?” It is often something they love, but think it isn’t good for them. Food, booze, smoking, coffee. Everybody eats king cake because it is going bye bye during lent.
There is an attitude of refraining from something “bad,” rather than an attitude of achieving a goal or adding a positive.
There is an inherent sense of balance. We indulge before fasting. Then we will all “fast” together as a supportive community. When someone offers you something and you say you gave it up for Lent, the conversation is over. No one tempts you further. The practice is respected without question.
We overindulge during Mardi Gras without guilt because we know the pendulum is about to swing the other way. We are not relying solely on our self-discipline. We all do it together. And the goal is to spend most of our time balanced in the middle (sattva), not bouncing between either extreme.
Do y’all recognize this concept? Aparigraha- nongreed or nonpossessiveness. An idea that invites us to release things that no longer serve us, be they behaviors, things, or ideas.
What are you willing to let go of? Anger? Frustration? Negative self-talk?
What are you willing to embrace? Love? Joy? Worthiness?
Whatever you decide, you can find support on your mat in your Yoga community. Om Shanti.
Read more about our Mardi Gras social where we will go deeper into these ideas, over Yoga and yes, an authentic New Orleans cocktail. and Zydeco!