December madness is in full swing. Less than a week to go and we’re frantically trying to wrap up work, find a turkey big enough for fifteen, finish our Christmas shopping and not get too drunk at the office party. Phew. It’s easy to lose your Christmas baubles.
Let’s take a breather – put down the shopping list! Christmas doesn’t have to be mayhem. Here’s how to do things the yogi way…
1) Take time off
News flash: holidays are for resting! Get organised in your last days of work so you can walk out the door, turn off your work phone off and give yourself a proper break. No sneaking a peak at your emails. No guilt allowed.
2) Mix things up
As well as resting, holidays are a great time to mix things up. If your routine tends to involve dynamic yoga, why not slow things down with a soothing, restorative session.
3) Less is more
Trying to do everything and see everyone over the holidays is a recipe for a frazzled yogi. Repeat after me: less is more. Prioritise what’s important and don’t over-commit.
4) Make time for you
By not over-committing, you make space for yourself and rituals that make you feel good. Whether that’s yoga, meditation, a wintry walk or drinking mulled wine in the bath, give yourself whatever it is you need to recharge.
5) Practise grounding yoga poses
Use poses like child’s pose or savasana to find calm in the chaos. In your practice, keep a sense of where your body is connected to the ground – feet, hands or the whole back of your body in supine poses.
6) Take a breath
When the madness really hits, take a moment to check in with your breath. Place your hand over your abdomen (just above your belly button) and feel the rise of the in-breath and the relaxation of the out-breath. Gently lengthen your exhalation a second or two longer to give you nervous system a boost.
7) Try mindful eating
Indulging over Christmas is OK, if you ask me, but make a note to savour your treats mindfully. Studies show that mindful eating helps people eat less and enjoy food more. Try taking your time and engaging all the senses when you eat. What does your food smell like, how’s the texture, does the flavour change as you chew? Don your comfiest, strechiest yoga pants for the big day and let that belly breathe.
8) Practise gratitude
Cut through the Christmas mayhem but taking a time out and thinking of three things you’re grateful for. Or get started on a gratitude journal.
9) Don’t take it too seriously
So the neighbours think your lights are tacky, you missed the last post, the turkey’s overcooked and the parsnips are a tad ‘over-caramelised’. It’s OK. You don’t need to recreate the Marks and Spenser ad. Laugh it off, let it go and maybe, maybe, let yourself have some fun.
Happy holidays yogis 🎅