Yuletide Yoga – it’s all about stretching out for the tv remote and snacking on gingerbread whilst bending down to open all the presents. This post has your Christmas wrapped up!
Christmas is coming! It’s that time of the year when chocolate orange becomes one of your five-a-day, midnight snacks consist of a cheeseboard and, you can’t help but forget what day of the week it is. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The thought of doing yoga at Christmas may not be appealing to all, but read on and you might just change your mind!
Nothing beats putting on my fleecy PJs, hibernating and watching festive films, as well as a glass or two of Baileys. But, if you’re anything like me and end up feeling completely lethargic with no motivation and want to try and tackle that bloated achy feeling whilst eating ALL of the food, then this post is for you! Nothing strenuous here, this Yuletide Yoga post will help your reflexes, meaning you’re the one that successfully reaches that last mince pie before anyone else!
Wrapping the presents with Child’s Pose
It all begins with the Child’s pose, one of the simplest and relaxing poses in the Yoga collection. You simply sit on your knees, bend the head and stretch your fingers out.
The result – A nice upper body stretch whilst you wrap and open gifts! This yoga pose is ideal to relieve neck, back and hip pain.
Putting the fairy on top of the tree with Mountain Pose
A 5ft 3 girl like me is always gonna struggle when it comes to putting the fairy or star on top of the tree. Mountain Pose enables you to stretch your whole body out, elongating your spine to reach the furthest of items.
The result – Improves your posture (after all the Christmas slouching), maintains balance and brings a calming focus.
Be the fairy on the tree with (Christmas) Tree Pose
Not content with your stretching skills on placing the fairy atop the tree, why not be the fairy…
Tree Pose has a fairy and ballerina feel to it. First stand in Mountain Pose (you’ve got this from the last pose), spread your toes and root down through your feet for balance. Raise one leg onto the inside of the other thigh. Standing strong and straight with the stomach in, inhale as you lift and lace your fingers overhead. After a few moments…repeat on the opposite side.
The result – Your moment to shine! This yoga pose builds strength in the ankles and calves (great if you have flat feet or suffer from sciatica), as well as tones abdominal muscles whilst stretching thighs, groin and shoulders.
Awkward Pose – When the only seat you can rely on is your own!
We all know the feeling, the relatives are over for Christmas and everyone is scrambling around trying to find a seat. You finally squeeze onto the sofa to find someone has taken it when you return from the loo.
It’s an awkward situation and here is the perfect yoga pose to accompany it. Step your feet hip distance apart, inhale whilst lifting your arms in line with your shoulders and exhale whilst sucking in your stomach. Then, bend your knees and sit down in an invisible chair behind you. Problem solved!
The result – You still get a seat whilst making your hip joints flexible, strengthening and firming muscles in the legs and upper arms, as well as, improving core and abdominal muscles.
After eating ALL the food – Wind-Relieving Pose!
The smell of the turkey cooking has sent you into meltdown and when you finally grab your plate you’ve gone overboard on the roasties, stuffing and, well and truly piled your plate. Not content, you then consume dessert and all the trimmings from the Christmas tea. It gets to the end of the night and you begin to regret all the cheese and drink you’ve washed it all down with…you now have a serious case of Christmas bloat…
The most relatable Christmas pose of them all has to be the Wind-Relieving Pose. Lay flat on your back, draw both legs up and hug those knees to your chest for a few moments. If you want to take the pose further, you can rock back and forth to soothe your spine.
The result – You still get to eat all the yummy Christmas dinner! It may seem like agony after all the food you’ve consumed, but by pressing your spine into the floor and holding for a few deep relaxing breaths, it can sure help relieve those turkey farts! This yoga pose also helps improve digestion, strengthening both back muscles and, those in your arms and legs.
Stumbling to bed following Christmas drinks – Cat/Cow Pose
So you’ve danced the night away, enjoyed all the free drinks from the work party and maybe even met someone under the mistletoe. But, the cold air has hit you after the Baileys, sherry and every other Christmas drink you’ve drunk that evening…you’re sloshed!
With your head down and your back arched whilst on all fours, you make your way to bed with Cat Pose. Follow this by inhaling through your nose, dropping your belly to the floor, lifting your bum and head up for Cow Pose. Hopefully, in doing these poses you won’t also need to hug the toilet…
The result – Alleviating lower abdominal cramps, lower back pain and sciatica. Cat/Cow Pose also improves the flexibility of the neck, shoulders and spine.
And relax following a great Christmas – Supine Twist
The Christmas festivities can leave you exhausted following endless meals, social events and housework. After closing the door to the last of the remaining relatives, take a moment of relief and stretch it out with a Supine Twist.
Lay down and exhale as you drop your left knee over to the right side of your body, twisting your spine and lower back. Keep your head facing the opposite way to your knee and spread your arms out wide. After a few moments…repeat on the opposite side.
The result – Massaging the hips and back, Supine Twist also hydrates the spinal discs and lengthens, relaxes and re-aligns the spine.
Congratulations you’ve successfully made it through the Christmas period with a bit more flexibility than you normally would. Plus, the calming effects of yuletide yoga has meant you have not lost your temper with any of your relatives!
Special thanks to Sweat Studios who gave me the opportunity to learn some yoga techniques. The majority of these poses are taken from their Wake Up & Wind Down yoga sequences.
If you’re local to Milton Keynes and want to try a hot yoga taster session, use my promo code BUTTERFLY (in capitals to take 50% off a single class hot yoga pass. The major benefit with hot yoga is you get to do all these poses whilst having the potential to burn the same calories as a 5K run (the warm studio does wonders!) Give it a try, if I can do it anyone can!
In the meantime, Merry Christmas!
P.S. if you have any other yoga poses I need to try, let me know below.
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