The holidays are undoubtedly a stressful time of year and many folks become highly vulnerable to anxiety and depression when the sleigh bells start to ring.
Instead of reaching for food, try rolling out your yoga mat. Studies have shown that a regular yoga and meditation practice can reduce stress and help fight depression.
The following is a short list of three must-do yoga poses that beat the holiday blues. Practice them at least once a day or as needed. This short series will help tame your tension and get you back in to a cheerful holiday spirit.
When you are ready to take a mental vacation from the mayhem, begin your yoga practice with child’s pose.
Come down on to your hands and knees, reach your hips back over your heels, and rest your forehead on the mat, your stacked forearms, or on a pillow. Close your eyes and stay in the pose for up to ten long, slow, deep breaths.
Child’s pose will instantly induce a state of calm and help get you feeling centered and ready to face any challenges that may lie ahead. When you are ready to exit the pose, do so slowly. Coming up too fast will negate the benefits of the pose and could be agitating to your state of mind.
Balancing poses are a great way to clear your head when times are tough. The key to settling your thoughts is to fix your gaze on one spot and keep your breath steady. If you happen to wobble or fall out of the pose, maintain focus on your breath and gazing point.
Stand on one foot. Place the opposite foot to the inside of your leg, either above or below your knee. Raise both arms in the air like branches of a tree. Hold for up to 5 deep breaths.
This is one of my all-time favorite poses because it ushers in a feeling of complete surrender and effortless bliss. It is very gratifying as well as deeply relaxing.
Lie on your back and splay out your arms and legs as to look like a starfish on the sandy sea bottom. Simply give in to gravity by completely releasing the weight of your body, as well as the contents of your mind. Close your eyes for a few moments and notice how easily your worries fade. (image via yogajournal.com)