Holidays can be hectic and have you running around causing your stress levels to increase. It’s important to remember to take time out for yourself every day to inhale and exhale. Don’t forget to give your body and spirit healing time. Self regulation should be practiced on a regular basis and it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves around this time of year. Don’t derail and jump on the band wagon of Glutinous behavior. Sometimes we get caught up into gorging ourselves with food, spending frivolous amounts of money, and becoming materialistic. Take some time to be humble and accept humility and pull into yourself during these hectic times with quiet pose. This is the time for receiving so let your body receive.
Christmas time is a wonderful time of the year to be creative and have some fun. Plus with the cold weather and lots of time on their hands, kids will be eager for a refreshing change of pace. So here are a few ways to dress up your yoga class or just have some family fun time. Yoga for kids is a certain way to burn some excess energy indoors and keep the kids engaged in something productive during the holiday season.
Take your regular yoga poses and convert the names to a Christmas (or Chanukah, Kwanza or whatever) theme. Here are some ideas for Christmas:
- Christmas Tree Pose: (Tree Pose) Stand in Mountain pose with your feet hip-width apart. Set your trunk deep in the Christmas tree stand. Shift your weight on to your right leg. Raise the left knee off the floor and slowly place your left foot on the inside of your right thigh above your knee. Press the foot into the leg for support. Now reach high into the sky as you raise your arms above your head to set your star. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Triangle Ornament Pose: (Triangle) Fill your tree with lots of ornaments. Any poses with a shape, such as Triangle, work well. Stand with your legs in a wide stance, as wide as your outstretched wrists. Turn your right heel in and your toes toward the front edge of the mat keeping arms extended. Hinge from your hips reaching from your hips out toward the front edge of the mat releasing your hand to the block or floor. Stack your shoulders reaching the top arm up toward the sky. Picture yourself handing by your hand on the tree. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Ding-Dong: (Kite Pose) Stand tall in Mountain pose. Raise your hand over your head with your palms facing and elbows straight. Now you are the clapper in a Christmas bell. Ring the bell as you sway from side to side. Ding-Dong, Ding-Dong!
- Santa’s Sleigh: (Group Row Boat Pose) this is fun for a group of kids. Each child sit on the floor with legs out in a “V”, the next child sits directly in front of the first child. Continue for all children. Now we need to get Santa’s sleigh off the ground. Everyone lean forward and say “Ho.” Now lean back and say “Ho.” Continue leaning front and back saying “Ho-Ho.” Finish by saying Merry Christmas!
- Reindeer Pose: (Cat*Cow Pose) Come to your hands and knees, with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Inhale, raise your nose to the sky and drop your belly toward the floor and say “Dasher.” Now arch your back up high and exhale. Inhale, raise your nose to the sky, drop your belly toward the floor and say “Dancer.” Continue the cycle for each reindeer. Finish with Rudolph and point your red nose high in the air.
- Snow Flake Pose: (X- Marks the Spot). Just like a snow angel, pretend you’re are a snowflake that has fallen to the ground. Lie on the ground with your arms and legs making the letter “X.” Variation: Make up your own pose, since you are as unique and beautiful as any snowflake.