If you are already dreaming of peace and quiet this festive season then finding ways to take this time to yourself is okay and important!
There are so many reasons why this time of year can become stressful and there's nothing to be gained emotionally by ignoring these feelings. In these moments it is essential that you listen to what your body and mind are telling you, and that you give yourself what you need.
Often these needs may simply take the form of some quiet time away from any stress and chaos. On the other hand, these needs might often feel more complex and require some serious self-care time to find your balance again.
When you are stressed out then this stress can consume so much of your energy. It can become the focus of each and every day, and something that you have to work really hard to move through. When you start to run on empty because your stress levels are so consuming, then it can be easier for small problems and responsibilities to feel much larger — adding additional stress to your already burnt out mind.
As I'm sure you already know, I believe that yoga is an effective tool for so many things. When it comes to helping you regain some peace and some clarity in your day, I cannot recommend this serious self-care weapon enough.
Today I am going to share some of the very best yoga poses that you can call upon each day to refocus your mind and refresh your body.
In those moments where you start to feel the chaos of the holiday season get on top of you, take a moment out to flow through one or more of these poses. Even better – go for all of them!
Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
This is such a great pose for releasing tension in the body and also for reducing pressure in the forehead — which is where much of the physical presence of our stress can be felt.
You may find it more comfortable to have a prop on the floor that you can use to rest your head on. As your head comes into gentle contact with the prop, you can feel the gradual release of stress from your mind.
Begin in a neutral standing pose and ensure your feet are parallel to each other. Bring your hands to rest on your hips. As you breathe in, lift your chest up and then as you breathe out, bend forward from the hips to bring your body down into a forward bend.
Position your hands on the ground in front of you at shoulder distance, fingers pointing forwards and in line with your toes. Allow your head to drop down towards the floor, and to come into contact with the prop if you are using one.
Hold yourself here for ten deep breaths in and out as you invite all of the stress, anxiety, and negativity to leave your body and mind. Following these ten deep breaths, you can slowly come back up as your hands find your hips again and you straighten your body. If you start to feel dizzy as you release from this pose, then choose instead to come down to the mat and rest in Child's Pose for a few deep breaths.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
This is such a simple pose but it packs some powerful benefits and really should not be overlooked as part of your regular practice. I'm including this pose on this list today because it is one that you can do anywhere, regardless of your ability level. Even on days when you aren't feeling particularly strong or flexible, you can still enjoy the benefits of this pose!
Begin by lying down flat on your back on your mat. Your legs should be straight and your heels should be just slightly apart so that they are not in contact. Let your arms rest at the side of your body with your palms facing up towards the ceiling.
Rest in this position for a few minutes at first, breathing deeply in and out as you do so. Try to focus your energy and your attention solely on your breath, and reject any other thoughts from your mind. As you maintain this position you will begin to notice the tension exit your body as you become calmer and more relaxed.
You can hold this pose for as long as you want, and in moments of stress you should hold it for as long as you feel is necessary. Try to let worries and other drains on your energy slip away as you embrace this peaceful pose.
Viparita Karani Asana (Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose)
This restorative pose is amazing for getting the blood flowing and pushing stress out of the body.
To enter the pose you will need to find a place where you can place your mat next to a wall. You can then lie flat on your back besides the wall with your hands resting alongside your body. Take a deep breath in, and then on the exhale bring your legs up the wall from the hips.
Rest your legs up the wall as flat as is comfortable, making sure that your bum is also in contact with the wall at the bottom. If you need to place your hands under your back for support then feel free to do so, otherwise continue to rest them at your sides.
As with Corpse Pose, you can hold your body in this position for as long as you wish to. However, a few minutes at first is a good amount to aim for. Breathe deeply and consistently as you engage with this pose, and consciously invite peace in as stress makes an exit!
Holding On To Peace
Allowing yourself the time to stay on top of your stress levels is essential when your routine is more hectic than usual. If you try to push ahead with all that you have to do when you do not feel emotionally equipped to do so, then you are going to wear yourself out!
Try to make the time to give yourself these small bursts of self-care so that you keep your energy levels and enthusiasm for each day topped up!
Check out these Five Powerful Ways to Take Time To Yourself!
Being able to overcome the sources of stress in your life can help you to feel more in control of your days, which can help you to find more time for yourself! This is something that I aim to help you do each and every week with my Get Inspired Newsletter!
This weekly dose of inspiration will come straight to your inbox to motivate you to say NO to stress and YES to happiness!
Click here now to sign up and immediately receive my Top Ten Tried and Tested Methods to Keep Stress and Anxiety Away!