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.
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.