Four yoga poses to help you re­lax dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son

To help relieve un­wanted, ad­di­tional stress, here are four amaz­ingly pow­er­ful pos­tures that will have you feel­ing back to your nor­mal, on-top-of-it-all self in less than 20 min­utes.

Living Now - - Yoga - By Jes­sica De­war

It’s the most won­der­ful time of the year. Our hearts are warm, cheer­ful dec­o­ra­tions fill the shop­ping malls, and there re­ally is an in­de­scrib­able magic in the air dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son.

You do your best to make the hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence as de­light­ful as pos­si­ble. To find that per­fect gift for our loved ones, to make the per­fect meals, to main­tain the im­mac­u­lately tidy house. The trou­ble is, this can all come at a cost. The hol­i­day sea­son is con­sid­ered to be one of the most stress­ful times of year. Shop­ping, cook­ing, travel…there is so much to think about.

To help relieve the un­wanted, ad­di­tional stress, here are four amaz­ingly pow­er­ful pos­tures that will have you feel­ing back to your nor­mal, on-top- of-it-all self in less than 20 min­utes. When­ever you get a spare minute to your­self, try one or all of these pos­tures to give you the best chance to re­lax, re­ju­ve­nate and boost your en­ergy lev­els.

#1 Sit­ting cross legged (Sukhasana) – 5 min­utes

As we sit in a cross-legged po­si­tion, we are work­ing to open the hips, which is where we hold most stress in the body. There­fore we want to open the hips as much as pos­si­ble. By straight­en­ing the spine we are also ac­tively work­ing to min­imise any block­ages in the body.

Com­bin­ing a seated med­i­ta­tive po­si­tion with mind­ful deep breaths, you’re help­ing your body to tran­si­tion from the sym­pa­thetic to the parasym­pa­thetic ner­vous sys­tem. This is where you will ex­pe­ri­ence a calmer, more bal­anced state of mind, which is not only im­por­tant for our men­tal health, but to also boost your im­mune sys­tem.

How to do it:

Sit com­fort­ably and cross your legs, rest­ing your hands on your thighs or in any com­fort­able mu­dra (for ex­am­ple hands in prayer). If your hands are rest­ing on the thighs, try not to rest them di­rectly on your knees as this pres­sure can be­come quite sore af­ter some time and limit how long you can main­tain the po­si­tion.

Bring aware­ness to your chest and breathe deeply. Main­tain a mild con­trac­tion of the pelvic floor and fo­cus on long, con­trolled breaths through the nos­trils. Count for four sec­onds on the in­hale, hold for two sec­onds, then ex­hale for six. Try to main­tain this con­scious breath­ing pat­tern for 3-5 min­utes.

#2 Child’s Pose (Balasana) – 3-5 min­utes

Child’s Pose is one of the quick­est ways to re­gain en­ergy within the body and re­turn to a place of calm. As your body folds, your breath will slow, your heart rate will lower and all the sys­tems in the body will be­gin to re­lax. Child’s Pose of­fers the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to with­draw from any wor­ries in the mo­ment. This pose is a true treat for the body and mind.

How to do it:

Come to a kneel­ing po­si­tion and al­low your body to fold for­ward, rest­ing your fore­head on the floor and your but­tocks on your heels. Your arms can be ex­tended for­ward or placed be­side your heels, what­ever feels more com­fort­able for you.

Softly close your eyes, fo­cus on your breath, and al­low your belly to sink a lit­tle fur­ther onto your thighs, giv­ing a gen­tle mas­sage to your in­ter­nal or­gans.

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