Yoga Poses for Holiday Stress

During the holidays we spend so  much of our time catering to the needs and wishes of others. Showing up and offering care and love to others is one of the many joys of the season, however, when we spend so much time pouring from our own cups to nurture others, it becomes incredibly important that we take time to turn love and care inwards and focus on refilling our cups. 

One of my favorite ways to engage in self care and find nourishment is by taking a moment to physically rejuvenate my body. I find when my body feels good, my mental health is a lot more stable. This may be because stress and overwhelm often manifest physically in our bodies, causing us to feel discomfort, and even pain when we become mentally overstimulated. 

It is possible to carve out time for physical self care without sacrificing large amounts of time, which is an important consideration around the holiday season. 

In fact, all you need is 5 minutes to create a meaningful difference in how you feel, both physically and mentally. 

Read on as I share 3 yoga poses that can be done as one-off mini sessions, or that can be done together as a short and sweet sequence. 

  1. Child’s Pose. Start in a tabletop position and spread your knees as wide as feels comfortable. Bring your big toes together and push your hips back towards your heels. Walk your hands forward, bringing your heart to rest towards the earth and rest your forehead either on your yoga mat, or a supportive pillow. Breathe deep and feel as your lower back and hips begin to gently release tension. Hold here for at least 2 minutes, and up to 5.  
  2. Thread the Needle. This is an amazing pose to quickly tend to upper body and shoulder tension. Start in tabletop position and keep your left hand planted on the mat, thread your right arm underneath your left and reach it all the way out to the side. Rest your right ear on the mat, and if you’d like to go deeper into the stretch, you can extend the left arm forward. Hold the pose for at least 2 minutes and up to 5.
  3. Rag Doll Forward Fold. This is a wonderful pose that will quickly soothe lower back and spinal tension, and even bring fresh blood flow to the brain and upper body. Start standing tall with your feet hip width apart. Bend your knees gently and start to slowly fold over, hinging from the hips. Feel free to grab your opposite elbow as you hang over in your fold and gently sway side to side. This can deepen the release. Only hold this pose for 1-2 minutes. If you’d like to hold it longer, make sure to come back to standing upright in between. 

These simple yoga poses can help you feel rejuvenated and cared for in as little as five minutes. Remember, these poses are here to support you in moments when you feel the need to stop, drop, and self care. Do them all together as a feel good sequence, or do just one for quick relief. 

Take care of yourself this season, so that you can continue to show up as the best and brightest version of you!