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Five Holiday Tips

Five Yoga Tips for a Healthier, Happier, Less-Stressed Holiday!

 

You’re more likely to enjoy your holidays if you stay balanced and healthy. Try these things:

1

Prepare for Thanksgiving by starting a daily practice of reflection.

End each day by writing in a “Gratitude Journal.” List three things you’re grateful for. Contemplate why you’re grateful…and take time to feel how these things make you feel. Thoughts and feelings of gratitude have been shown to raise our vibrations and heal us more than any other thoughts or emotions. William Blake said, “Gratitude is heaven itself.”

   
2

Go upside down.

B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the most influential voices in Western yoga, calls headstand and shoulderstand the king and queen of all poses. These advanced postures are very therapeutic—they calm the brain and ease stress and mild depression. You can also gain these benefits by putting your legs up on a chair or a wall. Add a cushion under your hips to increase the effects.

   
3 Do yoga for healthy digestion.

Bring your yoga awareness to meals and snacks. Eat slowly and recognize when you have had enough.  Prepare for the festivities by strengthening your digestive system with probiotics. Incorporate poses into your yoga practice that aid digestion—twists, simple backbends like Cobra Pose, Half-Moon lateral side stretches, Wind-Relieving Pose/ Pavanamuktasana, Revolved Side Angle PosePaschimottanasana, (Seated Forward Bend) and Hero Pose.   Practice pranayamas (breathing exercises) such as Kapalabathi (Skull Shining Breath).  For more information on "Yoga and the Digestive System," see what Kripalu's Dr. Jeff Migdow says.

   
4

Take daily, 5-minute Mini-Vacations.

Do this contemplation meditation…focusing your "thinking mind" on the mystery of being! Sit so your back is supported. Place your hands on your knees with your palms facing up to open your awareness, or facing down to calm the mind. As you inhale, silently say “so” to yourself and as you exhale, say “hum.” These words mean, "I am that"—in other words, they are an affirmation of your existence. Once you've established the "so hum" rhythm, begin to contemplate the source of your breath: Where is your breath coming from? Through visualization, contemplate the 5 billion human beings and countless creatures on Earth being fed by the same tidal rhythm of the breath.

   
5

Practice HUG THERAPY to reduce stress and boost your immune system. 

Family therapists say you need four hugs a day just to survive. You need eight hugs to maintain your current state, and TWELVE hugs a day to grow/thrive. How many hugs have you gotten/given today?!