Staying Grounded during the Holidays: Taking Yoga Off of the Mat

Fern Nibauer-Cohen
Fern Nibauer-Cohen

The practice of yoga calms the mind by providing a deep feeling of relaxation and balance. Did you know that the very basics of a yoga practice can be done during your “everyday” life…at any place or any time.  When you find yourself caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, give yourself the gift of “instant yoga” by practicing these quick and simple techniques…anywhere…anytime:

  1. STANDING POSE –  The next time you are in the middle of a busy mall and feel overwhelmed by the crowds, take a few second to ground yourself by standing with your feet hip’s distance apart, relaxing your shoulders and fixing your gaze straight ahead. Take a few release breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This will reset your body and mind to allow you to continue with the remainder of your shopping!
  2. ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING – If holiday shopping gives you a headache, try inhaling and exhaling through each nostril by closing off one nostril and breathing in to a count of 8 and exhaling out of the other nostril to a count of 16.  Do a few rounds of this ancient yogic breathing practice slowly for relief of stress and anxiety.
  3. SHOULDER ROLLS – If holiday shopping lines are driving you crazy and causing stress, draw your attention to your shoulders and take a nice, long inhale bringing your shoulders up to your ears, circle them back and down. While you are at it, circle your neck around a few times while inhaling and exhaling slowly. You will feel a renewed sense of calm.
  4. LION’S POSE – If you have attended one too many office parties and get tired of talking, smiling and socializing, go to a quiet place and try this pose by opening up your mouth wide and sticking out your tongue.  Making the sound of a roaring lion helps, too. Sounds funny, but this ancient pose is a great release for the facial muscles and really helps if you have been doing a lot of talking.
  5. MEDITATE – The best way to get through the holiday season feeling happy, healthy and whole is starting each day with a few minutes of meditation. Just sitting silently with your eyes closed at any point during your day is very helpful to keep yourself in balance. Remember, it doesn’t have to be for a long period of time…even just one minute of silent meditation in the midst of a busy holiday season will go a long way!

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