Well, friends, we’ve gotten through the first of the major holiday weeks/weekends. Thanksgiving - check. Black Friday - Check. Cyber Monday - check. You’ve probably knocked a few things off your shopping lists and maybe, just maybe, there’s a moment of exhale to be enjoyed now for a moment before we go right back into the full swing of all things holiday.
While everything tends to adopt an attitude of “busy” this time of year, we still have time to pause and be intentional about how we’re operating, and what we need to feel well and centered.
Find a 10-minute space of time and try this short, meditative yoga flow - perfect for a solo session or with friends or family to enjoy some presence together. This mini-practice can meet anyone at any level of experience, where they’re at. Beginners, welcome!
Start in an easy, seated, cross-legged position. Place your hands on your knees with your palms facing down. Let your eyes close and start to breathe with awareness. Feel your sits bones (butt bones) plugging into the ground beneath you, like there were roots growing out of you and into the earth. At the same time, grow tall out of the top of your head and find some length. Like the sun is pulling you closer to it.
Sit for 20 breaths.
Place your right hand on the ground beside you and reach your left arm up and over to the right side for a side bend to the right.
Other side. Same on the left.
Sit up and place your feet on the ground, knees up, and place your hands about 6 inches behind you. Lift your hips to the sky - Reverse Table Top.
*only hold this one for a couple of breaths.
Lower your seat back to the ground and windshield wipe your knees side to side.
Come onto your hands and knees - Table Top Pose.
Take a deep breath in and let your belly drop towards the floor, bring your gaze skyward, and tuck your toes - Cow Pose.
Take a deep breath out, untuck your toes, drop your head and round your spine like a halloween cat - Cat Pose.
Do this six more times following your breath and moving slowly *hint - take longer breaths ;)
Press your hips and seat back towards your heels - Child’s Pose
Stay for 10 breaths
Walk both hands over to the right - five breaths
Walk both hands over to the left - five breaths
Walk both hands to the center, send your hips up to the sky - Downward Facing Dog
Bend one knee and then the other to gently loosen up the backs of your thighs. Then, straighten both legs and press your chest towards your thighs. Focus more on your legs being straight than on your heels coming towards the floor - 10 breaths.
Bend both knees a lot, press your chest to your thighs - Turbo Dog - 5 breaths
Straighten your legs for a breath, and then come through to your back with the soles of your feet on the ground and knees pointed up.
Press into your heels to lift your hips, let your belly be soft - Bridge Pose - 10 breaths
Lower your hips and bring your knees into your chest and give yourself a squeeze
Drop both knees over to the right for a twist, let your arms come out to your sides, and shift your gaze to the left - 10 breaths
Switch sides - 10 breaths
Lay flat on your back with your legs straight out (you can place a bolster or pillow under your knees if your low back feels pinched at all), hands either resting somewhere on your body or gently at your sides for your final resting pose - Savasana. Stay as long as you’d like but try for at least two minutes.
This holiday season, seek moments of pause to come back to what really matters. Connecting with yourself and with loved ones, your health, taking care of your body, mind, and spirit, and fueling your best life.