Wow! I can’t believe it’s almost December!! I don’t know about y ‘all, but I absolutely love this time of the year. I heart all things Christmas. I love all the decorations, the music, the food, celebrating with family and friends, and the spirit altogether. I even love our Elf on the Shelf and all of his crazy shenanigans.
While I really do enjoy this time of the year, I also get super stressed. Our calendar, like everyone else’s I’m sure, fills up extremely fast. Our weekends are full of birthdays and other celebrations and our weekdays are starting to fill in too. Thankfully, our Christmas decorations are already up since this process started immediately after Halloween (don’t worry, I didn’t skip over Thanksgiving!). Now, I have to start writing Christmas cards, decide what kind of cookies and dog treats I want to bake, I have to start shopping for Christmas presents, etc., etc., etc.!
I used to love going out to the stores to make my Christmas purchases, but as I get older I’m beginning to realize that I’m a hermit. Even going out to my favorite store Target stresses me out because it’s too “people-y” out there. Then there’s time. Yes, I’m stressed about time. Do I have enough time to do this or do that? Do I have enough time for the kids? For my hubby? For myself? Then I stress about the presents. What if they don’t like what I got them? Did I get her more than I get him? Do they really need that extra pair of pajamas I just bought for them when I can’t event shut their pajama drawer as it is? What about my dog? Do I get the rawhide or the Snausages? Aaahhhh!!
Before my stress brings my blood pressure to a boiling point, I need to stop, drop, and yoga. Please hold.
(15 minutes later)
Okay, I’m back…but now, I’m less stressed. #winning!
Last month, I joined a couple of yoga challenges hosted by beautiful and talented yogis and yoginis who like to share their love for yoga on Instagram. One challenge was called “StressLessinNovember” which was perfect because the holidays bring so much joy to our lives, but they can also bring you extra stress and tension (like you couldn’t tell in my short vent sesh above). The purpose of this challenge was to help minimize our level of stress as we go through the holidays. It consisted of 7 days of asanas which I found to be helpful, calming, and peaceful.
Don’t let the holidays get you frazzled! Give these poses a try!
- Child’s Pose (Balasana) – This pose helps stretch your hips, thighs, and ankles while reducing stress. This is a great resting pose and I could sit like this all day….if I only had the time. Sigh. A girl can dream.
- Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) – This great pose stretches your neck and shoulders while toning your legs and bum. The shoulder stand also helps calm the brain and releases tension. I went with a funky-legged version to make it a little more fun.
- Wild Thing (Camatkarasana) – This pose opens up your chest, lungs, shoulders, and hips while strengthening your entire upper back. I really loved how this pose allowed me to feel wild and free.
- Double Pigeon or the Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana) – This is an excellent stretch for your hips, groins, glutes, and the lower back. This pose was probably my favorite in this challenge. I was able to shut out the world for just a few minutes and focus on nothing, which is what I really needed at that time.
- Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana) – I loved this pose and could literally fall asleep like this. The puppy pose is great for stretching your shoulders and back. I used the wall in my version to add the strengthening my abs and quads.
- Forward Fold (Uttanasana) – For me this stretch was really intense because my hamstrings always seem to feel tight. I like doing this stretch for at least 30 seconds and 3 times. Each time I do it, I feel a deeper stretch. This pose is great for stretching your hamstrings and calves while strengthening your thighs and knees.
- Headstand (Sirsasana) – This pose is great for strengthening your neck, vertebrae column, shoulders, and legs. There are so many fun versions you can do with the sirsasana, but I went with the iron-cross version.
Sorry for the grainy photos, I obviously need a new camera!
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy these poses as much as I did. You can find great and easy to follow instructions on how to get into each of these poses on www.yogajournal.com. I’ve listed the links below as well. As always, consult with your doctor before doing any form of exercise.
- Child’s Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/child-s-pose/
- Shoulder Stand: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/supported-shoulderstand/
- Wild Thing: http://www.yogajournal.com/intermediate-section/wild-thing/
- Double Pigeon: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/fire-log-pose/
- Puppy Pose: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/extended-puppy-pose/
- Forward Fold: http://www.yogajournal.com/article/forward-bends/5-steps-master-standing-forward-bend/
- Headstand: http://www.yogajournal.com/practice-section/challenge-pose-sirsasana-ii-tripod-headstand/
Follow me on Instagram to see more poses: @angiemar78