Posted on December 03 2018
It’s that time of year again! Lights hang from the trees, snow is on the ground, and the smell of gingerbread fills the air – the holidays are officially in full swing! While the holidays are often noted as “the most wonderful time of the year”, they can also be the most stressful time of year. Between juggling endless to-do lists, decorating, hosting gatherings, family, events, and your job, it can definitely be overwhelming. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with your yoga practice, especially during this time of year. Here’s how your practice helps with self-care during the holiday season:
1. Keeps You Centered and Present
With the stress of the holidays, its especially important to come back to the present moment every so often, concentrate on your breath, and let everything else go. We’re often so concerned about what is happening next (what you’re having for dinner, what you’re going to wear for your next family gathering, how many things you have left on your to-do list, etc.) that we often forget to just enjoy the present moment of the right here and now. You can always use the tools you learn in yoga to keep you present and centered – breath, meditation, calm – and bring it off your mat in order to make the most of your holiday season!
2. Improves Sleep
Are work deadlines keeping you up at night? Maybe money is tight, or maybe you’re worried about your in-laws staying with you for a week, and suddenly you’re having trouble sleeping at night. Research has shown that yoga can help with improving sleep as well as fighting insomnia. When you get in a yoga practice during the day, your body is often tired by bedtime. Yoga can also help calm your anxiety, relax, relieve tight muscles, and therefore get you ready for a great night’s sleep!
3. Increases Energy & Health
It’s no secret that yoga can help with managing your weight, gaining muscle, and increasing your energy levels. During a time of the year where there is an abundance of sweet treats, pie, and high-calorie dense food at every meal, it’s important to keep your body healthy by being mindful of what you consume. When you practice and feel good about your body, you want to take care of it. Yoga helps us be more in tune with our bodies, and allow us to eat more consciously, and know when to stop or say no once you’re full.
4. Cultivates Breath and Creates Mind-Body Connection
Yoga helps us stay centered by focusing on our mind-body connection. Breath in yoga is just as important, if not more important than the physical postures. Most of us don’t really focus on our breath during the day, and yet it plays such a vital role in our lives. Yoga teaches us to breathe through our most difficult postures, and the same concept can be applied off your mat. When things get overwhelming or stressful in your daily life, allow yourself to come back to your breath. You can do hard things and handle stressful situations.
5. Take time for you
We live in a world full of distractions. Between our phones, computers, TVs, radios, kindles, and other electronic devices, we are constantly looking at screens and communicating with others. The holidays especially are a time when everyone else’s happiness seems to be a priority. Yoga is that one time of the day where you are there to take care of you! For many people, yoga is one of the only hours a day where you can truly escape the outside world and really be present, even if just for an hour. Allow yourself that opportunity to enjoy some self-care time. You deserve it!
Here are three poses to help with self-care:
Stephanie is a yoga instructor and lifestyle blogger from Chicago! Yoga has impacted her life in so many ways, and she loves having the opportunity to teach and share her practice with others. She hopes to encourage and inspire other people to follow their dreams and find new levels of possibility in their minds and bodies, by bringing their practice off their mat and into their lives! You can find her blog at www.XoStephMorgan.com