The holidays always look so effortless in TV movies. Everyone seems to have plenty of time to decorate their homes, plan and cook elaborate meals, bake dozens of cookies, shop for the entire extended family and keep their homes immaculate all while working full time. In reality, making the holidays a memorable experience takes a lot of work. When you're already busy with work and family obligations, it's not always possible to add more things to your schedule without making a few deletions. Unfortunately, yoga may be one of the things that makes it to your "not right now" list.
Although you may eliminate yoga in an attempt to make your life less chaotic, you just might find that everything becomes more stressful without your daily yoga session. Yoga not only keeps your muscles loose and limber, but also reduces stress and gives you the inner strength you need to tackle life's difficult challenges. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to find time for yoga, even during the midst of the busy holiday season.
Waking up early to get in your asanas may not seem ideal, particularly if you're anything but a morning person. Although the first few mornings may be a little rough, it won't be long before you adjust to your new schedule. Waking just 15 to 30 minutes early will give you plenty to time for yoga and meditation before you begin your day. If you have trouble sticking to your early morning schedule, ask a friend or relative to join you. You'll probably be less likely to sleep in if you know that your yoga partner is waiting for you.
Try a Little Mid-Day Yoga
If you absolutely can't get up any earlier, schedule your yoga time for lunch or break time. Unroll your yoga mat in an empty area of the company gym or a vacant conference room and perform a few restorative poses, such as supported bridge or reclining bound angle poses. When it's impossible to stop for a formal break, try a few seated poses while you're at your desk.
Make Yoga an Add-On Activity
When you're already going to be out, there's no reason you can't stop by the yoga studio for a class. It may be easier to incorporate yoga classes into your holiday schedule than you realize. For example, if you're planning to go holiday shopping Thursday after work, add an extra hour or half-hour to the schedule for a pre-shopping class. After your yoga session, you'll feel calm, relaxed and ready to face the hordes of holiday shoppers.
Take It on the Road
Yoga offers the perfect way to de-stress from a long day of holiday traveling. Before you get back in the car after a pit stop, do a standing plank pose against the car door or relax those tight muscles with a standing tree pose.
Flight delays and long layovers can deplete your energy and your patience. Although it's not always easy to find a place to perform yoga in a busy airport, that's changing, according to an April Observer article. Airports in Chicago, Miami, Burlington, New York, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Helsinki and London Gatwick and Heathrow now offer yoga rooms for travelers.
Even the smallest towns usually have yoga studios. If you'll be spending the holidays out of town, call or email studios and ask if you can take a class as a guest. When classes aren't available or don't fit your schedule, take advantage of many of the online classes available on YouTube.
Give Yourself a Break
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it's impossible to fit yoga into your schedule. Don't worry if you miss a day or two. Before long, the holidays will be over, and you can return to your regular schedule.
Have holiday preparations left you feeling a little frazzled? After one of our yoga classes, you'll feel relaxed and energized. Contact us for details about class schedules.
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Yoga International: 7 Tips for Sticking with Your Asana Practice During the Holidays, 12/8/14
Yogi Times: Keep Your Yoga Practice Alive During the Holidays
U.S. News & World Report: 8 Secrets to Staying Fit During the Holidays, 11/20/15
Observer: Hit the Mat at New Yoga Airport Yoga Zones
Hailing from East County San Diego, Kaleen Moran (she/her) is an English major at Cuyamaca College and a young yoga enthusiast. Her free time is spent out in nature, whether her feet are on the trail, nose is in a book, or notebook and pen are in her hands. She finds solace in mountain tops, her dogs and cat, books and poetry, good vegetarian food, and the loving embraces of her family and friends.
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