*This article will appear in its entirety in a yoga newsletter over the holidays. In advance, I'll be posting sneak peeks to provide you with yoga assists for your most common holiday scenarios.
The holidaze is upon us. How can your yoga practice support, ground, and boost you through the season? Here are five common scenarios and possible yoga assists.
Holiday Scenario #1: Somewhere between Logan, your layover, the phlem-y cougher next to you, and the recycled plane air, you started to feel sniffly…and now are in the midst of a full-blown cold.
Yoga Assist: It's common knowledge that being stressed, getting little sleep, and taking on too much puts you at greater risk for getting sick. During the holidays, it's easy to fall prey to all of these. Fight back with yoga, which can reduce stress, boost immunity, and help ensure you sleep better—all keys to preventing and recovering from the sickies. Also, as cold viruses live in the nasal passages, try the ayurvedic practice of using a neti pot, available at any pharmacy or health food store.
Already sick? A vigorous practice may sound about as appealing as a root canal. If so, a few gentle restorative poses might be just what the doctor ordered. You'll still harvest all the immune-boosting, stress-reducing, sleep-inducing benefits.
Start with balasana (child's pose). Bring your toes together and keep the knees a bit wider than the hips. Rest your forehead on a block or your stacked hands. You can gently roll your forehead left and right as you slowly inhale and exhale. This can feel really good for sinus congestion, and may enhance the relaxation response. Then roll onto your back and take supta baddha konasana (supported butterfly). Draw the soles of the feet together and support under each knee with blocks or pillows. Place a rolled blanket or towel under the neck for support and gentle elevation. Next, try viparita karani (legs up the wall pose), supporting under the hips with folded blankets or a bolster. If you have one, place an eye pillow over the eyes. Hold each pose for 5-7 minutes. Come out slowly by resting in the fetal position before gently sitting up.
Stay tuned for Part 2!