At this hectic time of year, it’s easy to let our yoga practice slide to the back burner of our lives. By including your practice now in small ways, you will feel more relaxed and present at all of the festivities, and nurture your own body, mind, and spirit in the midst of the hustle and bustle.
With this 5 minute yoga sequence, you will quickly release any tension and stress that build up during the holiday activities. Best of all, you can do this sequence in your street clothes, saving you a few additional minutes. And during the holidays, who couldn’t use a little extra time?
1. Mountain Pose
Stand with the feet slightly apart. Ground down evenly through the soles of the feet. Keep the knees soft. Roll the shoulders down and back so the chest remains open and the palms face forward at the side of the body.
Chin parallel to the ground. Muscles of the face, particularly the jaw and the forehead, soft. Stand tall and grow taller as you ground down through the feet. Close the eyes and take 5 deep breaths.
2. High Mountain
From Mountain Pose, inhale the hands together overhead. Use the entire inhale to bring the hands together.
On the exhale, relax the arms down by the sides of the body. Use the whole exhale to bring them down. Repeat 5 times.
3. Forward Bend
From Mountain Pose, raise the arms overhead and fold forward into Forward Bend with a long spine. Grasp opposite elbows and let the knees soften. Sway from side to side with the breath – inhale at center, exhale to one side, inhale to center, exhale to the other side.
Repeat both sides 5 times. Release the hands down. On the next inhale roll up to Mountain Pose.
4. Chair pose
From Mountain Pose, lift the arms overhead. Keep the hands shoulder width apart, shoulders plugged into their sockets so that your neck stays long and the muscles around the shoulders don’t feel crunched. Take your seat down and back as if you are about to sit into a chair.
Sit tall. You will come into a slight backbend. After a few breaths, come back to High Mountain and then relax the arms down by the sides to return to Mountain Pose. Repeat 2 times.
5. Standing Twist
From Mountain, ground down through the left leg and raise the right knee so that the thigh comes parallel to the ground. Take your left hand to the outside of the right knee. Extend the right arm straight back behind you as your twist toward the right side.
Maintain this pose for a few breaths.
Release the twist. Release the right foot to the ground with control. Stand in Mountain Pose. Repeat on the other side.
6. Repeat Mountain Pose
Stand in Mountain Pose for a few cycles of breath, conscious of how you feel after just a few minutes of this simple practice.
Take that peace with you as you go through your holiday season, confident that this practice will always be here for you whenever you need it, even if just for a few moments.