Are you feeling it yet? The down slope into holiday madness strikes, generally, the day after Thanksgiving and we get to be the recipient of a most unwelcome gift: stress.
It really is the gift that keeps on giving and is a tremendous problem in our culture that pulls double duty during the yuletide season. Stress is, unequivocally, the MOST detrimental thing to our overall health and wellness. It’s been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, lower immune function and a plethora of lesser and more well-known diseases and ailments.
Lucky for us, there’s yoga. Or as I like to call it….yogaaaaaaah. 🙂 There are specific yoga techniques you can employ to fight stress.
It’s one of the most basic and effect tools you can use. When we get into stressful situations, we very often hold our breath. It’s a natural physiological response. So…remember to breathe! Practice a breathing technique from yoga like the three-part breathe or my favorite Kriya Yoga Breath Meditation (listed below). Allow your breath to be your single focus for a couple of minutes. Even just focusing on your breath for this short amount of time will slow your heart rate and leave you feeling refreshed and clear. Best of all, you can practice this literally anywhere!
This quick pranayama will pull you back into your body, back into a little peace and leave you feeling very balanced and refreshed.
In yoga there is a saying about the “issues in the tissues,” meaning we hold tension, stress and anxiety in our bodies. Notice how you might clench your jaw when you are angry or after a particularly stressful shopping experience your neck and shoulders are grippy and tight. Take time to move all that out by lengthening and strengthening the body. Yoga (and pilates and massage) are super effective at targeting those places where we grip so we can let go of all that stress.
Practicing yoga helps us find the ease, or sukha, in the present moment so that we can truly (and happily) kiss stress goodbye and enjoy each and every second we get to spend with our family and friends.
In yoga theory, we talk about mindfulness…a lot. But really when we break it down and use it to deal with holiday stress, it’s not only effective but simple to implement.
As always, if you found these tips helpful, please share! And don’t forget to connect up down below in the comment section and let me know how you used these tips or if you have your own tools that work for you during the holidays.