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Tis the Season: 4 Holiday Yoga Poses for Winter Imbalance

It’s safe to say that during the holiday season it is very difficult to stay calm and balanced. There are parties to attend, gifts to buy, dinners to cook, and guests to entertain.

It was around this time last year that I found myself more wrapped up than ever in the holiday festivities. I realized that I’d been neglecting my personal well-being because I was so busy preparing for everything else. One day, I decided to set aside some time to do a few relaxing and easy yoga poses that I learned from the Siddhi Yoga academy.

With the help of a yoga, I managed to make it through the rest of the week. During my holiday dinner, I stopped for a few moments in the middle of cooking to practice some poses in my kitchen. Whether you’re a beginner or a yoga expert, these poses below will help you unwind and stress less.

Child’s pose

Sporty girl on white background sitting in Balasana, Child Pose (Hare asana, Shashankasana), yoga for relieving stress, stretching shoulders, spine

Sanskrit: Balasana

Child’s pose is known to reduce fatigue and stress as it relaxes the muscles on your front and stretches those on your back. It also stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles.

This therapeutic pose soothes the mind, allowing you to center yourself amidst the chaos that might surround you. This has to do with the way that the bent-forward position that restricts breathing, which opens your back so your lungs can expand.

Step by step:

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with the latter spread out and the tips of your big toes still touching.
  2. Lean your backside into your heels. Take a deep breath and straighten the top half of your body, lengthening your spine.
  3. When you exhale, bend your body forward so your torso rests between your thighs, and let your forehead touch the floor. You can opt to extend your arms out in front of you or you can tuck them behind you.
  4. Maintain the pose for as long as you like, then use your hands and upper body to come out of it.

Cat-Cow pose

cat-cow2 copy

A combination of two great poses that are always paired together into one flowing movement. This pose is great for stretching out the body, encouraging flexibility in the spine, and opening the chest to encourage deep breathing.

Step by step:

  1. Begin on your hands and knees, centering your head into a neutral position.
  2. Start with Cow pose by inhaling and arching your back downward toward the floor. Lift your head so that you’re looking at the ceiling.
  3. To move into Cat pose, exhale and arch your back in the opposite direction.
  4. Repeat as many times as you’d like.

Legs Up the Wall pose

Sanskrit: Viparita Karani

Legs Up the Wall pose is typically performed at the end of a yoga class because of how relaxing it is. It puts relief on the nervous system and the lower body, this is great after a long day of running errands.

Step by step:

  1. Begin by placing your mat against the wall and sitting with your left side facing the wall.
  2. Now turn your body toward the left and lift your legs so that they rest alongside the wall, shifting your weight and finding balance as necessary.
  3. Lie with your back, shoulders, and head down on the floor then shift around to push your backside against the wall as your arms lay relaxed by your sides.
  4. Breathe deeply and close your eyes, staying for several minutes. When you’re ready to come up, slide your legs down and off the wall. Push yourself back up so you are sitting once more.

Extended Puppy pose

Sanskrit: Uttana Shishosana

This is a slightly more advanced pose, but it’s incredibly relaxing. This pose is known for reducing stress, anxiety, and tension. It also stretches your entire upper body and removes any tightness in the shoulders.

Step by step:

  1. Begin by getting on all fours. Use your hands to slowly walk outward until your chest is lowered and your forehead touches the floor.
  2. Next, stretch your arms above you as far as you can. Relax your whole body and breathe deeply.
  3. When you feel calm, switch positions by walking your body back up to rest on your hands and knees.

You don’t have to be an experienced yoga practitioner to pull off these poses. All you have to do is find some open space, lay out a yoga mat, and get to it.

Valerie Brusamarello
Valerie Brusamarello
Valerie completed her yoga teacher training at Siddhi Yoga. She enjoys finding new depths to her yoga practice, hiking in Colorado, and walking her dog, Rita. Val continues to spread her love for yoga around the world.

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