Shopping Yet? A Yogi’s Guide to Desire During the Holidays

What do you want this year?  I asked myself that recently in a class where the teacher said:  “Maybe you could desire something more than a new pair of shoes?"  And I’m thinking, “WTF? Like world peace?”Don’t get me wrong.  I am all about world peace.  I’m also about solving the economic situation, feeding the millions of people who currently go hungry in our own country, and helping make the world a greener, cleaner place.  But hey, can’t I also love my new thigh-high, black suede, kick-ass, Emma Peel boots?What’s a good yogi to do, especially at this time of the year?  At the risk of being divisive in a community that prides itself on togetherness, I am going way out on a limb to say, en- lighten up.  It’s okay if you want a new pair of shoes this holiday season.  You don’t have to live like Shiva in a cave for 99 years -- unless you want to.Even though some schools of yoga pronounce that desire is bad and to reach enlightenment you need to set yourself apart from all that, I believe otherwise.  Tantric philosophy teaches that desire is an inherent human condition and rather than try to be something we are not, we should strive to be more of who we are.  Desire is not a problem to be solved; it is a paradox to be lived.  We can’t always get what we want, but if we try, we might get what we need (thank you, Mick).  Or discover that we don’t need it, and then get it (thank you, Universe).We don’t want to rid ourselves of desire because desire’s secret mission is to make us happy.  Booyah!  Desire is there to wake us up.  If you currently don’t know what you want, you will have a harder time getting it.  Desire provides a road map to your dreams.  My advice is to follow it.  Make no apologies for being exactly who you are, and what you want, as long as nobody gets hurt.  So, if you are a yogi this holiday and you are looking to make a wish, please keep my new boots out of it.  I can still be a good yogi and want world peace; I’ll just look like Emma Peel when I’m off the mat.Michelle Berman Marchildon is the YogiMuse.  She’s the author of “Finding More on the Mat”, a yoga memoir available in January.  You can find her blog at