6 Yoga Poses For Christmas + Mindful Journaling
It’s Christmas time!! Seems like it was just Summer! and well, here we are! With so much going on in the world, it really doesn’t feel like Christmas, the way it used to when I was younger. The lights shined a light brighter, family felt a little closer..
Let’s all just take a breather when times get tough, even at Christmas! And among all the rush, we have children, parents, relatives, husbands/wives, and life to tend to and with. Lots of smiles, laughs and gifts Christmas brings us but it also brings quite a bit of anxiety, stress, sleepless nights, long days, and constant chatter!
If you’ve had alot on your mind and need a release, try Journaling. Be ready for a deeper understanding and connection with yourself. I swear journaling has saved me many times – keeping me inspired and faith-filled. And it’s pretty interesting when you can look back months or years and see what you wrote. It might surprise you that what you write actually comes alive in your life! So if you are ready, get a journal – a medium-sized attractive book that is nice and inviting to you. A book that you can enjoy writing your ups and down, your goals, and inspirations.
[ Tips for Journaling : In the early morning, write a mantra that solidifies and claims that day you will have , as you enter the activities of the day. In the evening, reflect on your day. make a one to two sentence summary of your day, note your victories, your challenges, your lessons learned. ]
Well Merry Christmas! & Happy New Year to us all! Here are 6 Yoga Poses to release tension, rejuvenate the mind – body – soul, and inspire you to write in that journal!
SEE ALSO: Buddha’s 6 Rules Of Love
This pose only requires us to stand still for a moment. Press the outer edges of your feet in the ground or floor and breathe. Balance your weight to the middle of each foot and pull up your life force/energy through your arches (even if you are flat-footed you can get some lift!). Soften the back of the knees and pull up your kneecaps. Continue to breathe in and out the nose. Tuck the belly and the bottom comfortably, lower the chin to feel the back of the neck open up. Inhale, hands can raise up
Tuck the belly and the bottom comfortably, lower the chin to feel the back of the neck open up. Inhale, hands can raise up over head or stay by the sides. Exhale, rolling your shoulders down and away from your ears. Bring eyes to a soft close. Continue pressing outer edges of the feet to the ground and at your own pace. Stay here for 30 seconds to a minute. Breathe and Reflect in this pose
Restorative Uttanasana (Forward Fold)
Shift perspectives for a bit and fold forward from mountain pose into Uttanasana. Let your finger tips or hands touch the floor (or your shins). Relax the upper body. Let shoulders, neck and head hang tension-free. Keep grounding into the outer edges of your feet, pulling up on the kneecaps with the back of the knees softened to prevent over extension.
Hold onto to your elbows, opposite hand to elbow. Reaching shoulders away from the ears, release the head even more towards the knees. Breathe in and out through the nose. Stay here for 30 seconds to a minute. Slowly lift the chest, shoulders and head to come back to a standing position.
Supta Padagustasana (Reclined Hand-to-Foot Pose)
Lay on your back with knees bent, soles of feet on the mat. Slide your right heel away from you, straighten the right leg and pull your left knee in towards your chest. Hold the knee to your chest and keep the upper body, shoulders, and neck as relax as possible. Extend your left heel into the air, straighten the leg. Walk your hands up the leg, and hold on to your left toes. Keep the upper body relaxed, no tension in the shoulders or neck. Try to keep your shoulders on the mat/floor.
As you exhale, release your hands from the left foot and lower the leg. Keep breathing in and out through the entire pose, don’t hold your breath. Breathe! and repeat the sequence with right knee to chest. Then, repeat with both knees pulled to chest, extending both heels to the sky and then lower the legs slowly – work your abs here as you release both legs down to the floor.
Salamba Savangasana (Supported Shoulder Stand)
Fold two to three blankets in 2 – fold once lengthwise, and then fold along the width – should get a square-looking blanket in your hands.
Place the blanket 4-5 inches away from a flat wall. Sit flush against the wall, roll your feet up the wall bringing your back onto blanket with your shoulders just 1 to 1 -1/2 inches away from the blankets edge.
Straighten your legs up the wall, keep the back of the knees soften and reach the heels to the sky. Bend the knees, place bottom of feet on the wall
Press your palms down into the mat, roll elbow in towards the body and shoulders down and away from ears. Chin towards the chest.
Pressing palms into the mat, lift your hips and chest towards your face, bring your hands onto your back, and walk the hands down your back towards your shoulders. Roll up onto your shoulders, keep breathing in and out the nose. Straighten one leg into the air at a time. Point the toes and breathe deeply, into and out the nose. Stay here for 30 seconds.
Bring your feet back onto the wall. Release your hands from your back, place them on the floor beside you. Slowly roll your shoulders down to the floor/mat, then your upper, middle and lower back roll down onto the mat. Press your feet into the wall and scoot your self away from the wall until your feet can touch the floor. Walk heels wide to the edge of your mat and bring the knees together. Stay here for 5 – 10 breaths.
Reclining Spinal Twist
Laying on the floor with a flat back, lift knees towards your chest. Keep hips and knees in-line. Lower your knees to the left and turn your head to the right. Arms in a T-position. Breathe here for 10 secs. Repeat on the other side and then bring knees back to center.
Laying on your back with knees pulled to chest, extend your legs one at a time to the floor. Roll your chin to your chest til the back of the neck opens up and feels stretched. Roll shoulders down from ears.
Melt the back of your head, you neck, your shoulders, back, hips and heels into the mat/ground beneath you.
Breathe here at your own pace Lengthening your inhales and Extending your exhales. Softly bring eyes to a close. Stay for as long as you like.
Slowly come out of Savasana, rolling on your side and pressing up to a seated position. Take a breath and be on your Jolly way! 🙂
Use this sequence to de-stress your day or give your yourself a boost.
Happy & Mindful Christmas & New Year to all
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