Your Practice and the Holidays

The holiday season can sometimes disrupt your normal routine. You may have family visiting, you may be leaving town, or you may be so busy, you feel like you just don’t have time to stop. Yet, these are the times, you need yoga the most. Maybe you can’t make your normal 4:30pm Power Class or your Sunday Yin class, but you can create space in your schedule to practice at home or on the road. This doesn’t mean you have to create your own hour-long routine; sometimes you may only have time for small amounts, but small amounts count too!

You can tap into your yoga practice at any time with these easy postures and practices. All you need is a few minutes:

Intentional Breath: The practice of intentional breath needs no special place or time for you to set aside. Taking the time to breathe can be spontaneous and at the same time, purposeful. When you’re feeling stressed or when you’re settling down from a busy day, take a few moments to concentrate on your breath. Listen to the sound of your breath coming in and exiting your body. Focus on your breath filling up the belly as you inhale and deflating the belly when you exhale. Your attention on breath can calm and relax your racing mind.

Child’s pose: Child’s pose is a restorative, relaxing pose. Combined with intentional breath, child’s pose can relieve tension in your spine and neck, and bring you back to a calm state of mind.

Rag Doll: Stand with your feet hip’s width distance apart and gently bend forward with knees slightly bent. Drop your head and grasp opposite elbows or let your arms hang. Rag doll decompresses the spine and allows tension to drip right out of your body.

Sun-Salutations: Sun salutations can invigorate a tired body, decrease stress, and provide momentum for the rest of your day. Take a few rounds to help spark your energy for a long day ahead or take a few rounds when you feel your energy depleting.

Legs up the Wall: Placing your legs up the wall will bring blood-flow back to the heart. This pose can immediately relieve tension and stress. Cover your eyes with a soft pillow or towel and allow yourself to recharge for a few moments in this pose.

Cat/Cow:  From table-top position be be sure your shoulders are aligned over your wrists and your hips over your knees: inhale as your drop your belly and lift your chest, exhale and round your shoulders. Practice several rounds of cat/cow with your intentional breath. This movement can release tension in your back, neck, and shoulders. 

Savasana: Yogis need savasana to relax and recharge. Take savasana at any time to reconnect to your body and your breath and to find calm in a busy atmosphere.

You can practice these poses at any time: at home after a long day, at a holiday party, or in a hotel room on the road or maybe you have another pose you like or one that speaks to you. The idea here is to do what feels good! Of course, there are many classes at Warrior you can take, maybe ones you haven’t been able to get to before. Practicing with the community is also a great way to decompress and focus on you.