The holidays mean many things for each of us. It can be a time of both togetherness and reflection. It can be stressful, it might be joyful, or maybe it’s both. The days are short and dark, yet decorations and holiday cheer can be seen everywhere. Some of us may be mourning the loss of a loved one while others rejoice with a new baby’s first Christmas. Wherever you are, it is ever important to take care of yourself and spend time nurturing your body, mind and soul.
Take a few minutes in the morning just for yourself. Try stringing together two yoga poses which fit together nicely: Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani) and Candlestick / Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvaganasana). Viparita Karani is a restorative pose that gives you time for quiet reflection, while Shoulder Stand activates your brain and jump starts your digestion for the day. Begin on the floor next to a wall. Roll onto your back, then spin on the floor so your legs are up in the air resting on the wall. Stretch your arms out wide at your sides or place them on your tummy to feel yourself breathing deeply. Close your eyes and follow your breath for at least 10 long, deep cycles.
When you are ready to wake up and start moving, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the wall. Press through your feet to lift your hips off the ground. Bend your elbows and place your palms on your lower back for support. Breathe in and lift one foot at a time into the air. Look directly up at your toes while you engage your core to make your body as vertical as possible, like a candlestick. For safety, never turn your head from side to side due to the pressure on your neck vertebra. Take at least 3 deep breaths before pressing your feet on the wall and lowering back into Viparita Karani.
Happy Holidays and may 2019 be a year of happiness, health, peace and prosperity for you and your loved ones.
Images: Happy Holidays Candlestick Pose by K. Mae Copham. Video of K. Mae Copham demonstrating Legs Up The Wall to Shoulder Stand by Robert Oakley. Turks & Caicos, December 2018.