Thursday, October 16, 2014


As we move toward another holiday season, some things are probably already coming to mind: travel, family dinners, shopping, gift giving, celebrations, etc. It can often feel overwhelming and challenging as we approach the end of another year. Stress levels tend to rise during this time of year. How are you preparing for this busy holiday season and stress management?

You can start now with a very simple yoga practice that you can do throughout this holiday season. It's easy!

Find a quiet moment for yourself. This might be at home, at school, at work, on the bus, etc. This only needs to take a few minutes. Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breathing. If it is difficult to notice your breathing, breathe a little louder with more effort. As you begin to notice the sound and feel of your breath, begin to control the pace of your breath. Take a nice long inhale followed by a slow controlled exhale. Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute (see....that's not that long, right?)

This simple yoga breathing exercise does several things: 1) Focusing on your own breath makes you more aware of yourself. It helps you to tune out the things that are going on around you because you have to concentrate on your own breathing. 2) As you breathe slowly and deeply, you are bringing your central nervous system under control. In other words, your heart rate and pulse will gradually decrease. This ultimately makes you feel more calm and LESS STRESSED. 3) Also, this type of breathing helps you to bring balance to your mind and body. 4) And another thing, if you ever feel a bit drowsy, this can be a great pick-me-up. Sometimes, we don't get enough oxygen to the brain due to shallow breathing. Taking a few deep breaths can be better (cheaper and healthier) than chugging down one of those energy drinks.

As you can see, there are some great benefits to....well....just breathing. In and of itself, it IS a yoga practice. You can do it ANYWHERE at ANYTIME.

So, as you approach the holiday season, give YOURSELF a gift. The gift of a STRESS-FREE-HOLIDAY!