Celebrate the holidays, your way

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As the holiday season approaches, some yogis might be looking for alternative ways to celebrate. Many yoga retreat centers have holiday programs for those of us who don't find the mall on December 24 a turn on. Here's a sampling:

November 22 - 24: Sivananda Ashram on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is offering a Thanksgiving sacred song and chant retreat with Deva Premal and Miten. Visit www.my-yoga.net for more info.

December 21-26: Celebrate "Christmas with Your Spiritual Family" at the Ananda Assisi ashram in

the Umbrian hills of Italy. www.ananda.it

Dec 26-31: You can practice with veteran teacher Todd Norian at Kripalu in Lenox, Mass., if you sign up for the Holiday Anusara Yoga Retreat. Other programs taking place at the same time include a Children's Holiday Program, Finding Peace: A Holiday Meditation Retreat, and Refilling Your Well: A Self-Nurturing Retreat for the Holidays. www.kripalu.com

December 28-January 1: Friends old and new are invited to celebrate the coming of the new year at the Mount Madonna Center's New Year's Ashtanga Yoga Retreat in Watsonville, Calif. ww.mountmadonna.org