It may be the most cheerful season of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful. According to a 2015 Healthline survey, 44 percent of people are stressed during the holidays, with more than 18 percent saying they are “very stressed.” Finances were named as the biggest source of stress by more than half of the respondents, but being over-scheduled, choosing the appropriate gifts, and staying healthy also played a role in people’s Holiday woes.
All of these responsibilities might feel so heavy but know that there are things that you can do to lessen all the Holiday stress you have and try to tap into the joy of the season. One of these things is physical exercise, and yoga-inspired techniques can be very beneficial for stress reduction. Yoga, according to the Mayo Clinic, can help relieve stress, lower high blood pressure, and moderate a speeding heart rate.
The steps below can assist you in finding a little tranquility this Holiday season. If you’re new to yoga, don’t worry; these yoga positions are simple to master. They are basic to do at home and only take a few minutes. Close your bedroom door, relax on your mat, and take some time for yourself this Holiday season to breathe and be grateful.
Use this as a routine to concentrate in the morning or to unwind in the evening. Alternatively, you may do each of these motions independently throughout the day anytime you feel stressed. This is the most effective technique to de-stress and unwind over the holidays.
This is a pose you might remember from meditation class. Holding your body still in a lotus position can help you regain energy, quiet your mind, and boost your awareness and concentration.
- Sit with your legs outstretched, back straight, and arms at your sides on the mat.
- Hug your right knee to your chest by bending it. Bring your right ankle to the crease of your left hip, so your right foot’s sole is towards the sky. The top of your foot should sit on the crease of your hip.
- Bend your left knee now. Your left ankle should be crossed over the top of your right shin. Your left foot’s sole should similarly be facing upwards.
- Keep your knees together as much as possible. Sit up straight and press your crotch on the floor.
- Your palms should be facing up when you rest your hands on your knees. Make a circle with your index and middle fingers and thumb. Keep the rest of your fingers stretched out.
- Bring your focus to your “third eye,” the region between your brows, by softening your expression and smiling a little.
- Hold for up to one minute before slowly and gently stretching both legs down the floor to release the posture.
Cat and Cow Poses (Marjaryasana and Bitilasana)
Cat and Cow poses are great for warming up the body, stretching out the back, and strengthening spine flexibility. All of your movements should be accompanied by deep, and calm breaths. Changing between these positions is a good way to get some energy flowing in your body.
- Begin in a tabletop posture on your mat on your hands and knees.
- Your knees should be beneath your hips and your wrists should be under your shoulders.
- Maintain a neutral neck position and a downward look.
- Inhale as you drop your belly to the floor and elevate your head until your gaze is forward, starting in Cow Pose.
- For Cat Pose, exhale and pull your belly up while spreading your shoulder blades apart and lowering your chin.
- Return to Cow Pose and then exhale into Cat Pose, moving in sync with your breath.
- Five to ten times each pose.
The Child’s Position is a well-known and well-loved relaxing pose! When you’re feeling overwhelmed by Christmas stress and all the demands on your time and energy, this is a terrific posture to try.
All you have to do is sit down, lay your head down, tune out the outside world, and turn your attention within. Simply focus on the rhythm of your breathing. This position can help you relax your thoughts and relieve back and neck stress.
- On your mat, go down on your knees.
- Sit back on your heels and bring your big toes together.
- Separate your knees to the width of your hips or the mat’s boundaries, whichever feels more comfortable.
- Exhale as you lower your torso toward the mat and straighten your arms in front of you, palms facing down on the mat.
- Hold for a minimum of five breaths.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
A basic Seated Forward Bend pose is helpful for relieving holiday stress. This pose relaxes your thoughts and stretches your entire backside from your feet to your neck.
You may relax more and more with each exhalation as your hamstrings loosen. To make yoga for stress relief perform effectively, strive to bring your mind back to the sound and sensation of your breath whenever it wanders.
- Begin by sitting on your mat with your legs straight out in front of you.
- Engage your feet’ soles and create a tiny inner rotation through your legs.
- To protect your spine, inhale while drawing in your abdomen.
- Exhale and stretch your spine before folding forward to clasp your big toes or put your hands on your legs’ sides.
- With each breath, continue to draw your abdomen in and fold a little further.
- Hold for five breaths, then inhale as you sit up again.
Tadasana produces a meditative state, allowing you to find balance and relax your mind. It offers physical and mental relaxation. Tadasana is also an ideal opportunity to take a deep breath and express an intention, or to express thanks for your practice.
- Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart and parallel to one another.
- Spread your weight equally across your feet.
- To avoid locking your knee joints, maintain a modest bend in your knees by engaging your thighs.
- Bring your hands together in front of your heart.
- Take five deep breaths while closing your eyes.
This is an excellent technique to redirect your attention by putting your intellect and body to the challenge. Because it involves grounding and attention, Vrikasana, also known as the Tree Pose, is a good pose for reducing stress and anxiety.
- Begin with your arms at your sides, stand with your feet together, inner ankles and inner knees touching. Spread your weight evenly between both feet.
- Shift your weight to your left foot.
- Reach down and hold your right inner ankle with your bent right knee.
- Draw your right foot up to the inside of your left thigh. Rest your foot above or below your knee, not against it. Adjust your posture such that your pelvic center is precisely above your left foot. Then position your hips so that your right and left hips are in line.
- Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor by resting your hands on your hips. Your thumbs should rest on your sternum while you press your hands together in prayer posture at your chest.
- Fix your gaze on a stationary spot in front of you.
- Squeeze your left thigh against your right foot equally while placing your right foot against it.
- Extend your arms overhead and reach your fingertips into the heavens while inhaling. Face each other by rotating your palms inward. Take five to ten deep breaths.
- Return to Mountain Pose to release. Continue on with the other leg.
Another excellent yoga practice for stress alleviation and anxiety management is Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose.
You will extend the frontal plane of your body throughout this post, which will help the abdominal organs perform better, stimulate the gastrointestinal tract, and energize the kidneys. Perfect for better digestion over the holidays when you’ve overindulged.
- Place your head on the floor while lying down on your stomach. You can be with your feet together or separated by hips.
- With the tops of your feet, keep a solid grasp on the floor. Place your hands behind your shoulders with your elbows close to your torso.
- After that, pull your shoulder blades back and down. and keep them there for the duration of the position. To stabilize your lower back, draw your pubic bone towards the floor and press your feet firmly into the ground.
- With the next breath, lift your head and torso off the ground. Keep your chest open and avoid putting all of your weight on your hands. Keep your elbows bent slightly and your back muscles engaged. Remove your hands off the floor for a time to determine what height is comfortable and manageable for you.
- Maintain a comfortable posture with your shoulders.
- Exhale and return your weight to the ground.
- Inhale your way up into the cobra and exhale your way down to the floor for 2-3 rounds. Then come back down after holding for 2-3 full breaths. Take a few breaths on the floor, or try Child’s pose as a mild counterpoint.
Relax, Re-energize, and Refresh your Mind and Body
Let us all take a few moments to breathe and simply be. You’ll notice how simple it is to return to your friends and family with a real smile on your face.