Every once in a while, we all need to hit reset. If only it was as easy as hitting a simple button to instantly feel refreshed and renewed. At this time of the year, I always feel tired and deflated, and the cold days and lack of light don’t help either. Below are some yoga-inspired tips and techniques to take us through the (sometimes stressful) festive period, connecting with our body and replenishing our soul.
- Add some restorative poses to your yoga practice
A well-balanced yoga session is my go-to solution to naturally relax and recharge. Introducing some restorative poses (i.e. child’s pose, supported bridge pose and cat cow) in your yoga practice has the benefit to offer supportive, deeply calming postures that allow you to fully rest your spinning mind and tense body. To enhance your practice (and make it super cosy), you can use a lot of props such as blankets, bolsters, pillows, and blocks so that you are fully supported and able to let go of tension more easily.
- Master the power of breathing
The ancient yogis knew that by becoming the master of your breath, you can naturally relax your body and recharge your mind. Your breath has a powerful effect on activating your parasympathetic nervous system. Five to ten minutes a day of alternating nostril breathing (known as nadi Shodhana or anuloma viloma pranayama) can help you achieve a restful state of relaxation and transform your body into a healing force.
- A calming yoga flow before going to bed
Sometimes all your body needs are calming, rejuvenating and introspective poses that guide your body to achieving deeper peace, preparing us for quiet and more restful sleep. Your yoga instructor can guide you through a quick sequence of asanas to practice at the end of your day or right before you crawl to bed for a relaxing night’s sleep.
- Try a walking meditation
Unlike guided meditation, which asks you to clear your head of all thoughts (often producing the opposite effect), walking naturally allows your mind to go quiet. Breaking up your day with a short walk during your lunch break, for example, could have the benefit of providing some light exercise, while catching some daylight (super important as the days gets shorter and shorter). You can try playing some relaxing music or a guided mindful walk meditation (there are plenty available for free on Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.) on your headphones to make the most of this time with yourself.
- Do less, experience more
Regardless of how you choose to reset your body and mind, the key thing is to make time for it. Relaxing and recharging are the fundamental foundations of self-care, they provide one of the most direct ways to improve productivity and pave a sure-fire path to a more peaceful, joyful experience of life. By taking the time to actively slow down and do a little less, it is possible to experience so much more.