Maintaining a steady practice during the holidays can be a challenge to say the least but during this busy time of year, even the simplest form of movement can increase our capacity to handle stress and fatigue by leaps and bounds. Whether you are hoping in a car or jumping on a plane, here are three simple tips for staying limber in both body and mind during the winter festivities.
1. Dolphin Pose
This is a great twist on the standard Downward Dog or Adho Mukha Shvanasana. Dolphin Pose or Makarasana (also called puppy pose) helps to stretch out tight shoulders, hamstrings, and alleviate headaches. It is perfect for combating indigestion, asthma, insomnia, fatigue, and back pain (especially sciatic). When we are stuck in cars or planes for long periods it is common to not be eating as healthy as possible and often we are unable to stretch out. The combination can lead to a lot of the above problems making the holidays a time of pain rather than joy.
2. Half Lord of the Fishes
This seated half spinal twist, or Ardha Matsyendrasana, is another way to unwind and give your internal organs some love with a gentle, twisting massage. Generally during the holidays we tend to drink and eat a little more than usually. This pose is great for cleansing and eliminating toxic waste from the body while stabilizing and toning the core. Stimulate the important parts of your body, like your spine and digestive system, while relaxing the mind and shoulders. For more info, check out Namaste teacher Annie Carpenter’s blog post on Yoga Journal.
3. Knees to Chest
This is one of the simpler asana’s but still packs a mighty punch of benefits. Both soothing and activating, Knees to Chest or Apanasana is a great pose for reconnecting with your breath and releasing your gluteus maximus muscles. A quick pose you can do anywhere, sometimes all we need is a few minutes of laying on the floor to feel grounded, strengthened, and calmed.