As a teacher it is inevitable to see the numbers in the yoga studio dwindle with the onslaught of holiday rush and festivities. I get it. Your busy pace is upgraded to a frantic one and it is very hard to even consider rolling out the mat. However, even a small amount of mat time offers even the most stressed out yogini a chance to maintain her health and more importantly her sanity. Studies prove again and again that nurturing your own health through a yoga practice thwarts stress and even illness.
So, if the idea of decking another hall makes you feel like you may want to deck the next person who walks through it, you are not alone. Stress is a common denominator throughout the holiday season. Financial concerns, not enough time, and uncomfortable family situations are three of the woes that seem to plague many of us during this hectic period.
Women in general can make life very hard on themselves during this time. As a yoga teacher I can see in in their physical body. Their shoulders tense up around their ears, jaws clench, and breath is uneven. Sometimes they carry it in other parts of their body like the abdominal area or their lower back. This continuation of bottled up stress often becomes a clenching mechanism and spaces are confined. The result is a minimum of body discomfort but anxiety can also cause headaches, panic attacks, and other serious illnesses.
All of the experts tell us that an overabundance of stress manifests as a health attack on the body. There is no debate here. So why each year when the Christmas lists are emailed out and the mall’s next newest and impossible to afford gadget appears on your child’s Christmas list do we unwittingly allow it to creep into our bodies and prevent us from experiencing the real joy of the Christmas season?
Yoga is more than an exercise. It brings our body back into balance through a series of postures that aid the body’s natural detox process, boosts circulation and the movement of lymphatic fluids through the body, and regulates our nervous system through the use of breath.So instead of thinking you don’t have time to do yoga (especially during the holidays), understand that by nurturing yourself in your practice you will benefit your health and mind giving you clarity when you need it most for the month ahead.
Here are a few simple poses to incorporate into your home practice:
|Balasana - Child's pose|