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In Good Company: How to maintain your practice during the holidays.

Finding time for your regular practice can be hard. Sometimes its all you can do to make to your favorite yoga class once a week, but during the holidays fitting in some much need me time on your mat can be darn near impossible. After all, there's shopping, cooking, cleaning, visiting, and celebrating or worshipping to do. Whether your the one who travels or the one who hosts the guests, the holiday season can really cause a time crunch.

You might be tempted to just skip class and resolve to make it up after the holiday is over but I suggest you don't. Skipping your regular practice will mean that you won't benefit from stress relief, increased energy, increased strength, improved flexibility, and balance when you need it the most. Visiting and celebrating is fun, but it also consumes a lot of energy and can leave you feeling drained. If your travelling or have guests chances are you are not getting your normal amount of sleep. The amount, the type, and the timing of meals is irregular, too, and this can cause you to feel uncomfortable, to say the least, and I'm not just talking about buttoning your jeans. No matter how much fun your having or how much eggnog you drink the change in routine is disruptive and will take its toll on your body, your sleep schedule, and your sense of balance.

Instead of skipping, make a commitment to attend class before company comes or before you travel. If you can, attend class while your company is resting or visiting with other family and friends. If your the one travelling, make a point to visit a local studio and take a class or a workshop and invite your host and offer to treat if they'll go with you or drive you.

If you can't make it to class during the holiday break, dedicate at least 10 minutes each day to practicing a few Sun Salutations, Cat and Cow, Downward Facing Dog, or 5 of your favorite poses. If travelling with a mat isn't an option and space is scares, no worries, pick poses that can be done without a mat in small spaces or poses that can be done in bed such as twists, supine leg stretches, cat and cow, or foward bends. Heck, if you can't manage much at least practice savasana daily until you can return to your regular practice.

To help you, I put together a list of poses that are great when you are strapped for time and space:

Cat/Cow - repeat 5 times -can do in bed

Downward Facing Dog - or Half-dog using edge of bed for extended hands

Lunges - these can be done anywhere - I even do them standing with forward foot on bed

Standing side bends - half moons

Seated twists - can be done in chair

Standing forward bends - with arms hanging and behind back hands clasped

Standing Wide Legged Forward Bend - then shift side to side like spider man

Downward facing dog - splits

Childs Pose

You can practice in any order, just listen to what your body needs and use your practice to help keep you grounded this holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

Post by Natasha Borg
200hr RYT, Veteran, Writer

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