Christmas means most of us will be busy organizing travel plans, going gift shopping, attending lunches and dinners, and preparing for, celebrating, and recovering from holiday parties! ‘Tis the season to be merry, after all!
Busy, Busy, Busy
For those of you in relationships or marriages, you may be busy working out how to fit in seeing both sides of your family, your in-laws, and your close friends. If there are children involved, this takes it to a whole new level of excitement and potential anxiety!
While Christmas is a time for joy, it can also be incredibly challenging. For those of you who have moved out of the family home, returning to the scene of your childhood may feel like we are reverting to our younger (read moodier) years!
There are school friends to catch up with, presents to wrap, and work piling up that absolutely has to be done before year-end. Money seems to simply flow out of the door as the number of presents under the Christmas tree increase.
Moments of Reflection
Christmas also signals the end of another year, making it a time of reflection as a New Year approaches. We start thinking about where we are in life, running through our 2015 New Year resolutions, and realize which ones are still outstanding.
For the single yogis amongst us, having to endure your Grand Dad, Auntie, or Cousin asking if you have met someone yet can be amusing at the very least.
During these times, you can find yourself torn in a zillion different directions, trying to keep many different people happy. Unless you are taking good care of yourself and sending yourself heaps of love and compassion, how are you supposed to be able to pass on goodwill to those around you?
Blissfully Calming Yoga Poses to Kick Holiday Stress to the Curb
Here are 10 yoga poses for instant calm during the holidays that you can do anywhere, anytime. They can be done as a short sequence or selected one by one, holding for anywhere between 10 breaths and several minutes.
These poses offer much needed moments to breathe and just be, so you can come back to your friends and family with a genuine smile firmly in place.
1. Alternate Nostril Breathing
Coming to a comfortable seated position, rest left hand on lap. Begin by covering left nostril with middle finger of right hand. Take a slow, deep inhale, then release finger and cover right nostril with right thumb as you exhale through the left. Continue for three to five minutes.
2. Mountain Pose
Ground down through the four corners of your feet. Grow taller with your breath, as you feel the chest rising and falling with the breath. Keep the palms facing forward to open yourself up to receiving positive energy and calmness.
3. Standing Forward Fold
This is an instantly calming pose known to relieve stress and fatigue while energizing the body as the blood flows to the head. Hold this pose with a gentle bend in the knees and shoulders free of tension.
4. Seated Forward Fold
Use cushions to allow you to remain comfortable for several minutes. Relax your muscles, release any stress, resting your head onto the cushions and simply coming to your breath.
5. Warrior II
Possibly the most empowering, “Be true to yourself” yoga poses ever! Stand tall, stand strong, and settle into your pose. Try closing your eyes. Feel the muscles in the body working to hold you steady as you connect to the absolute power that resides within.
6. Eagle Pose
This is an empowering and energizing pose that works the whole body, sending blood flowing throughout the body, which is great for increasing your libido for sexy times with your partner at the end of a stressful day!
7. Child’s Pose
An amazing pose that you can come to at anytime for instant calm! Feel your troubles melt away as you rest your forehead on the mat, cushion, or block and just breathe.
8. Reclined Hero
A pose to release any stored tension in the hips. Make the pose more restorative and heart-opening by bringing a bolster between your shoulder blades, increasing flexibility in the spine and reducing fatigue and stress—absolute bliss!
Modification: If there is pain in the knees, keep one leg straight and change halfway.
An all time favorite! You can’t fail but feel lighter after holding this pose for several minutes.
Savasana is THE relaxation pose. It truly encourages the body to come to a still position and just breathe, bringing us naturally to a more peaceful state.
Introduce meditation into each of the poses above as you begin to slow down the breath and come to a comfortable position. Visualize drawing a square—connecting each line of the square to an inhale or exhale, gradually increasing the size of square as slow the breath down even more.
Show this article to your significant other as well, so you can come to your mats together and create some peace and harmony together. Just 20 minutes can bring you to a place of absolute calm, making you strong enough to take on the season with an energized body, calm mind, and full heart!