Festive ImageSimple Yoga to Combat Festive Stress by Sue Fuller 

Many of us will suffer from some form of stress as the festive season draws closer.  Here are a few yoga practices that might be useful. 

During the month of December our yoga mats can begin to gather dust as the festive invites roll in and shopping excursions become a necessity.   

To help eliminate stress this season make time to roll out your yoga mat regularly.  Yoga is an amazing stress buster, if you have never practiced yoga before do not wait for January, December is the perfect time to begin as the techniques learnt will prove to be valuable when it comes to avoiding stress.    

Yoga in some form or another is suitable for everyone, whether it is just the relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, or you might even prefer to practice in a chair there is still valuable technique that can be learnt by us all – and we never stop learning!  If you are pushed for time just 15 minutes a day will prove to be just perfect.   

Try an audio yoga class from the Yoga 2 Hear Daily Yoga Range or Yoga Relaxations

How does Yoga help to relive stress? 

  • Yoga teaches relaxation techniques that help calm and focus the mind.  
  • Performing yoga postures will stretch the body and help to relieve physical stress and tension.  When the tension is released in the body so too is it released in the mind.  
  • The slow controlled breathing performed during a yoga class will increase vitality by raising oxygen levels and calming the mind. 
  • Yoga will improve levels of self esteem which will help to eliminate emotional stress. 
  • Any exercise will help relieve stress by keeping the body healthy and releasing endorphins which are the natural hormones that make you feel good.   

These simple yoga techniques can be easily performed in just a few minutes to help lower stress this festive season. 

Yoga Relaxations by Sue FullerBasic Relaxation Technique 

During this busy time it is important that you make time for yourself, a short relaxation performed prior to bed will help you sleep well and provide you with the time and space to clear the mind and balance your emotions. 

Lay on your back with both hands lightly resting just above the navel and below the breast bone.  Close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly in and out through your nose.  Concentrate on the area of your body beneath your hands and then notice that your hands rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale.  Continue to breathe slowly focussing on this area.  After a few minutes move your hands to your chest with the palms lightly resting on the centre of your breast bone.  As you breathe slowly notice the warmth of your hands delivering love and understanding.  When you are ready relax your arms alongside your body with your palms facing up and continue to breathe slowly in and out through your nose. 

Each time you exhale feel your body sink and become heavy.  Continue to breathe slowly in and out through your nose working to release tension with each exhalation for as long as you feel necessary. 

Just Breathe 

If you find the volume of shoppers a little hard to handle this simple breathing technique can be performed anywhere as and when required. 

Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, retain the breath for a comfortable length (a natural pause is fine for those with high blood pressure or who are pregnant) and then exhale as slowly as you can through your nose feeling all stress and tension leaving your body with the exhalation.  Repeat at least five times. 

Sue Fuller is as leading yoga teacher and writer.  She is a course author for the British School of Yoga.  Sue is the creator of the Yoga 2 Hear range or audio yoga classes.  These classes have been devised to help you practice yoga regularly at home.  For more information please visit www.yoga2hear.co.uk or www.wellbeingworldonline.com.