It’s the night before Christmas and nothing in the house is stirring…except for you wrapping presents, the grandparents arriving, the kids running around with their stockings…
Whatever your Christmas contains, be it a calm and peaceful time-out or a hectic schedule visiting family members dotted around the country, there are a few yoga tools that could be somewhat more magic than Santa’s Sleigh.
We all generally over-indulge at this time of year, so the postures that make up your Yoga Tool Kit, whether you need you need them to cope with the in-laws driving you mad, or to simply get off the sofa, will see you right.
Your Yoga Tool Kit
Work off the chocolate and sherry indulgences with a few Activations. These will wake you up and stop you feeling sluggish. If you are normally quite active winter, and Christmas particularly, can feel a bit claustrophobic, so if the weather allows, go outside to do these (wrap up warm!).
For me Christmas can be a whirlwind with far too many things going on at once. So if it is like that for you too, then find a quiet(ish) spot and take a few moments to stand in Mountain pose. Get your feet hip-width apart and stand nice and tall. It will align you spine and get organs back in the right place if they’ve become squished (or over-extended) at the dinner table.
Brighten Up and Tone Up
Winter is a dark time of year. If you are feeling low on energy, or need to work off a few roast potatoes then Sun Sequence will work wonders.
Do some Activations first and then get stretching with this nice and simple sequence to lighten up your day and tighten up your waist.
Find your Balance
Christmas isn’t always a time of joy for everyone. If you find it an emotionally challenging time, for whatever reason, Chair of the Heart posture can help to soothe the emotions, encourage compassion and bring more joy.
How to do Chair of the Heart
Those with ankle, knee, hip or shoulder joint problems should keep the movements gentle and the core stability muscles contracted. Anyone with neck problems, high blood pressure or heart disease should limit the amount of time the arms are held in the overhead position.
Before you do the posture
Warm up by shaking out your joints, gently twisting the spine and generally activating your body.
Stretch out the soleus muscle by placing one foot slightly in front of the other, both feet pointing forward. Then bend both knees, sinking down as if going to sit on a stool and taking your centre of gravity down between your feet. Repeat the stretch on both sides
- Stand with your feet facing forward and hip width (two fist widths apart) – this is called Mountain Posture
- Breathe out and engage your core muscles
- Breathe in and raise your arms from your sides until the palms of your hands meet in namaste (palms together) above your head
- Breathe out and bend your elbows, so that the heel of your hands come towards the crown of your head and your elbows are pointing forward
- As you breathe in bend your knees whilst at the same time straightening your arms (keeping your hands together in namaste), so that the chest is opened.
- Keep your heels firmly on the floor and sink down as far as you can (imagine you are trying to sit on a bar stool in very short skirt).
You should be able to feel the stretch in your calf muscles.
- Keep the core muscles strong
- To make the stretch on the ankles and calves as strong as possible don’t lean forward but keep the torso upright and the pelvis in neutral
- Breathe out, and straighten your legs. At the same time bend your elbows, lowering your hands towards the crown of your head, as before
- Repeat parts 2 and 3 a few times.
- Finish by lowering your hands down the midline of your body towards your sternum
- Hold in namaste for a few breaths while observing the effect of the posture
- Relax your hands by your sides
Check out LucyogaTV on YouTube for more videos of Dru Yoga poses and Sequences.
Come to a class! London classes start again on 6 January. Lucyoga has classes in Vauxhall, Peckham and Nunhead – see the TIMETABLE. On 31 January there is a Relaxation Workshop and starting 7 February a Beginner’s Guide to Yoga course.