Is the pressure rising for a perfect holiday season?

Hello beautiful humans. How is this week treating you?

Have you been feeling increasingly overloaded, overwhelmed, and an intense pressure to make sure the holiday season is wonderful for your people?  Truth? I have felt it.  Hard.

Holiday Stress 1

It’s almost a cliché to say that the holidays can be stressful. Not everyone gets along, planes are delayed, and dinner gets burned. Any picture-perfect image of the holidays we build up in our minds, filled with expectations of how life should be, rarely gets met. And it can feel extremely disappointing.

I encourage you to take the time to keep yourself grounded. Try to plan what needs planning and then focus on whatever you value most this time of year.

Here a few practices that have helped me relieve stress and tension in busy seasons.

Spending time in nature. Studies show that spending time in green spaces can reduce stress. “Blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the level of ‘stress hormones’ all decrease faster in natural settings,” reports a summary published on Science Daily. Spending time in nature is a balm for our nervous system.

Yoga.  Pressed for time?  Legs Up the Wall pose, for 10 minutes after work or at bedtime. This pose is the perfect antidote to stress.

IMG_1044

Meditation. Even if it’s in short stints.

learn to meditate

Alternate-Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana) This is a deeply calming breathing technique that works to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain.

Eating in a loving, relaxed environment. The kind of company we keep—and the conversations we have—during meals can positively or negatively affect our ability to digest and assimilate our meal. Your stomach, and your spirit, will thank you.

Drinking tea. Try adding another hot beverage to your morning routine.  This ritual has added so much joy to my days. If you are a coffee drinker, no need to quit. Just add another drink to your day.

Get connected with like-minded people.  Connection with authentic humans who care has been so important for me in busy and stressful seasons.  Join me in the Empower You this winter to make deeper connections, increase fitness, and destress.

Yoga poses that will make Thanksgiving remarkably blissful

Blissfully Calming Yoga Poses to Kick Holiday Stress to the Curb

Hello beautiful people.  I wanted to share with you a practice to keep you present and grounded throughout this week.  Here are 7 yoga poses to practice if you would like to take control of your joy over Thanksgiving.  They can be done as a short sequence or selected one by one, holding for anywhere between 10 breaths and several minutes.


1. Mountain Pose

Place your feet hips width apart or wider on the ground. Connect the feet to the ground and ensure that the toes are not gripping.   Spend a moment to note whether you can feel each foot connection point on the ground beneath you. Grow taller with your breath, as you feel the chest rising and falling with the breath. Keep the palms facing forward to open yourself up to receiving positive energy and calmness.

Mountain_Pose


2. Standing Forward Fold

This is an instantly calming pose known to relieve stress and fatigue while energizing the body as the blood flows to the head. Hold this pose with a gentle or generous bend in the knees and shoulders free of tension.

Standing_forward_fold


3. Seated Forward Fold

Stretch your legs long in front of you and fold forward.  Take note of how the hamstrings feel nothing that the stretch should come from the middle of the muscle.  Find length along the spine.  Feel free to generously bend the knees. Even resting the forehead on the knees.  Remember this is a restorative practice.  We aren’t giving out medals for the bendiest person.

seated_forward_fold


4. Warrior II

Warrior II is an extremely powerful pose.  Stand tall, stand strong, and settle into your pose. Try closing your eyes. Feel the muscles in the body working to hold you steady as you connect to the absolute power that resides within.  Reach both in front and behind with the arms, stretching the body wide.  Remind yourself in this practice that you control you and your responses.  This is your power friends.

warrior_2


5. Child’s Pose

A restorative pose for instant calm! Keep toes towards each other and knees as wide as your mat.  Gently reach your arms long on the mat resting the forehead.  Try rocking the forehead left to right on the mat for added massage and relaxation.

childs_pose


6.  Legs-Up-the-Wall

If you only have time for one asana, please work this into your day.  I love to do legs up the wall just before bed.

IMG_1044.jpg


 7. Savasana

Savasana is THE relaxation pose. It truly encourages the body to come to a still position and just breathe, bringing us naturally to a more peaceful state.  Lay down on your mat, the floor or your bed.  Splay the feet out to the sides.  Check in that the lower back is connected to the floor.  Adjust the pelvis as needed.  Drop the shoulders away from the ears.  Tuck the chin slightly so that the muscles along the back of the neck length along the mat or floor.  Breath naturally.  Soak up the bliss.

img_7355


Bonus: Meditation

Find a comfortable seat.  Take a few long slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.  You can count the breaths as an anchor to keep you focused.  One on the inhale, two on the exhale, three on the inhale, and so on until you get to ten.  Then you can start again.  Start with one minute.  You can build from there, a little more each day.  Remember, this is about your intention.  If you are taking the time to slow down and be intentional, then you are meditating!  Keep up the good work friends.

IMG_0851

Just a few minutes can bring you to a place of absolute calm, preparing you to enjoy this holiday season with an energized body, calm mind, and full heart.  Please send me a message if you have questions about this practice.

Happy Thanksgiving lovelies.

Here are a few items I love to keep my practice comfortable.