By Yasmin Gow
With much to do and many places to go, it’s no wonder that pressure mounts during the holidays. It’s also a time more emotionally charged that than any other.
Yoga, of course, is excellent relieving tension. Many of the principles explored on the mat can be carried into daily life, even if you aren’t a regular practitioner.
My tips for greater balance, breath and bliss:
- Ground yourself. Feel your feet rooted into the earth below you, and lower your centre of gravity into your pelvis. Practice this standing in line at the bank or sitting upright, sitting-bones pressing into the seat of a chair, while breathing consciously.Yoga practice: mountain, triangle, warrior I, warrior II & side angle poses
- Let go. With each exhalation, practice the art of letting go by fully emptying the lungs of residual air. This promotes a deep inhalation. Soften your abdomen as much as possible and breathe through the nose for a slower, warmer breath.Yoga practice: slow sun salutations & focus on breath in all poses – inhale lengthen, exhale, deepen.
- Find equilibrium. Keep your nervous system healthy by balancing action with rest. This increases productivity and happiness. In yoga, postures on one leg or on the hands actually require less effort to be successful.Yoga practice: tree, dancer, half-moon, warrior III, crow, handstand.
- Mental Cleanse. Free yourself from mental clutter by journaling your stresses and worries. Be honest, swear, even have a ‘pity party’, then burn the paper. Destroying your notes is key to releasing these tensions. If need be, repeat every day.Yoga practice: Create an “I am” affirmation & make it your mantra – “I am at ease” means seeking ease in every pose & every activity.