The last few months of the year are challenging for many reasons. From Thanksgiving Day to January 1st, many will fall victim to the greater pull of holiday pleasures and ditch their exercise routines and healthy diets.
It isn’t a crime to be a little lenient during the holidays. After all, what other time of year gives us this opportunity to eat and drink with such enthusiasm? The problem arises when seemingly temporary indulgences turn into permanent bad habits.
We all know that the best way to break a habit is to not start one in the first place. That’s why maintaining a consistent yoga practice can help. The following are a few suggestions to keep you motivated to hit the mat before your holiday hedonisms become your New Year lifestyle.
Seek instant gratification the healthy way
Needing something to knock the edge off your holiday stress? Instead of reaching for the eggnog, try taking a 5-minute break to sit, stretch, and breathe on your yoga mat. I guarantee it will bring you more gratification, give you more energy, and not to mention, reduce your daily intake of calories.
Practice a fair trade agreement
You don’t have to deprive yourself of once-a-year treats such as cream cheese brownies, or peppermint cookies. Instead, vow to maintain an equal energy balance so you don’t pack on extra pounds.
For example, a full hour-and-a-half vinyasa yoga practice burns approximately 400 calories, which is the equivalent to one small slice of pumpkin pie. Did you go to yoga today? Great, have the pie. Did you skip yoga? Then skip the pie! When you look at it in terms of a fair trade, you’ll be less likely to overeat.
Enjoy a new kind of dessert every evening
Want to know why you feel so satisfied after yoga? The answer is savasana! I guarantee you won’t find a sweeter treat that raises your feel-good hormones more than corpse pose.
Just before you go to bed at night, take a few moments to lie on your back and reflect upon the day’s activities. If you indulged in something decadent, don’t feel guilty about it. Instead, savor the memory and feel grateful for the opportunity. Having an appreciation for guilty pleasures helps us to enjoy them in moderation instead of excess.
December 12th, 2012