YOGA TO GET YOU THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS
It’s holiday season – a.k.a. the most stressful time of the year. There’s travelling, party planning, shopping, gift wrapping, extended family visits. Even this list is stressing us out. Thank the universe there is yoga. Check out these super relaxing, restorative poses to get you through the holidays.
Legs up the Wall Pose is always a favorite when it comes to feeling more relaxed. Improved circulation pushes blood back to the top half of your body, and the pose can even relieve lower back pain. Whether you’re fatigued from cooking all morning or stressed out from listening to your family members argue politics, this pose will undoubtedly help you escape the stress of the holidays. Here’s how to do it:
Sit with your hips against the wall and roll onto your back, raising your legs up and resting your feet on the wall. (You might need to shuffle yourself a little so your bottom should be pressed as close to the wall as possible). You can hold this pose for as long as you like, but if your feet or toes become tingly, try bending your knees and bringing your feet lower down to the pelvis.
The holidays can leave you feeling out of control, and completely unstable, which makes Tree Pose a great choice for re-centering yourself and feeling more grounded.
You'll start in Mountain Pose; feet can be together or hip distance apart. Ground down through your feet, lift your knee caps by engaging your quadriceps, lengthen the tailbone to the ground as you rebound through both sides of your torso evenly, broaden across your chest as you allow the muscles around the base of your neck to relax. Place your gaze straight ahead as your palms press together in front of your chest. Keeping this alignment, shift your weight to your left foot (keep that leg engaged & knee cap lifted), bending the right knee and pressing the bottom of the right foot against your left inner thigh. It’s easy to crank your right hip up getting into this pose, you want to keep your pelvis neutral. You can use your hands to guide your foot to the inner thigh, but always maintain a straight, elongated spine, and make sure that you are pressing your foot into your thigh, not the knee. Keep the thighs and abdominals engaged, and lift the chest, broadening across the collarbones, relaxing the muscles at the base of your neck. Hold for a few breaths, before changing sides.
If you need a little energy boost part way through a holiday party, try sneaking to a quiet place and sit in Downward Facing Dog for a moment. It will restore your energy, calm your heart, and even ease shoulder stiffness.
Start in Child’s Pose, with your arms extended in front of you, and your hands shoulder width apart. On an inhale, come up to your hands and knees, like a table-top. Your knees should be hip distance apart. As you exhale, press the hips backwards and upwards. Ensure your feet are parallel, and then let your head hang. Hold for a few breaths.
After doing some of these poses, we hope your holidays will run smoother than ever, and if not, remember you always have the 30Fifteen Team here cheering you on.
*Please note these instructions are very basic guides. If you are new to yoga, pilates, or any of the fitness moves pictured above, please find a local studio near you and take a couple of classes before attempting to practice alone. We cannot be held responsible for an injury caused by following these instructions.