yoga at christmas

Its that time of year again…love it or hate it…its Christmas…and its not like its a surprise its an  ANNUAL experience!

Tinsel everywhere, baubles’ and trinkets hanging from every hook. The Christmas tree has taken up half the living room!.The house is festively over-flowing!!

Yes I love it but also find it completely over-whelming. There is so much going on right now. Christmas Shows, Christmas Parties, Christmas Fairs, Christmas Shopping, Christmas Clothes, Christmas Food etc etc etc. Our expectations are thrown, what we expect of others and of ourselves is often too much. What we want and what we need do not mirror each other and then we wonder why it all gets too much!

It doesn’t need to be this way.

Think about it, what do you want, what is important to you at Christmas?

For me this Christmas is about being with the people I love, taking time out to sit down, watch a movie, cuddling up with a blanket, keeping cosy, reading a book, drawing a picture, playing a game. Taking time to enjoy the longer darker night by slowing down.

It has taken the pressure off the presents, the food, the crazy perfectionism. Don’t get me wrong there will be food and there will be presents but the importance will be togetherness even with the awkward ones!

If this all sounds a little perfect then you should know that previous Christmases’, for various reasons, have seen me sobbing in the bathroom, screaming in the kitchen and heartbroken on my own. We are all human and I’m sure that this year and all the following Christmases’ to come will have their ups and downs but Yoga has taught me so much about patience and understanding and a realisation that,

It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters’ . Epictetus   

My Yoga routine will have to be squeezed in beside the Christmas tree and if the weather allows out on the hill but it will continue. Even 10 minutes quiets my mind and that peace will maintain my blissful Christmas. We will still have all the family dramas but my calm response only became possible by my love of Yoga.

Maybe Yoga is not your thing or you can’t fit it into your Christmas schedule however here are some easy and quick stress relieving poses.

Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani)

Lie on your back with your legs up the wall. Try to get your bottom as close to the wall as possible. You can use a pillow for your neck and shoulders and a pillow or block for your lower back if there is any discomfort here.
Close your eyes. Listen to your breath. Inhale and exhale slowly. Stay here as long as you need to.

Childs Pose (Balasana)

Kneel on the floor. Knees and shins can be together or knees can be wide with toes touching. Push your bottom back toward your heels. Relax your upper body down to the floor. You can use a block or a pillow for your head. You can also support your upper body over some cushions for more comfort. Close your eyes. Listen to your breath. Inhale and exhale slowly. Stay here for as long as is comfortable.

Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Standing with your legs wide apart and your feet parallel. Straighten up through spine. Bend forward from hips. Hands can be placed on floor directly below shoulders or in line with your feet. if this is not open to you hands can be on thighs. it is important that the spine is straight so find a hand position that is most comfortable for you. Close your eyes.
Listen to your breath. Inhale and exhale slowly for 10 breaths. Slowly come back up to standing

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