Restore before Christmas

Christmas is such a busy time of the year. It’s easy to get all caught up in the rushing around, going to Christmas parties, shopping for the family and preparing your home.

But what about really ‘coming Home’? Coming Home to your Self. It can make such a big difference to carve out some time for yourself to recharge the batteries and recalibrate the body’s energy system.

Here I’ve put together a 10 – 30 minute programme, that will do just that. Here you can choose to do just one of these poses for say 10 minutes or 2 for 5 minutes, or for the icing on the cake effect, all 3 postures for about 10 minutes each.

We are going to start the sequence with Viparita Karani. Often called ‘legs up the wall pose’, but actually it simply means inverted posture. So, if you don’t have a bit a spare wall space, I’m showing you an alternative here. You can also do the pose on a couch with the legs supported with cushions under the calves. If you don’t have a bolster, you can use DSC_0496folded blankets, a cushion or nothing at all under the hips.

Place the arms anywhere they are comfortable, by your side or in ‘cactus’ style, as I have chosen.

This pose is excellent for relieving fatigue, calming the nervous system, reducing mental activity, helps improve sleep, as well as supporting & soothing the heart, reduces swelling in the legs & ankles & supports the immune system. All the things we need at Christmas time!

Next we come to a relaxing chest opener. For this pose you will need a bolster or a couple of folded blankets, a cushion for under your buttocks, or another folded blanket & a thick towel, or smaller blanket or even a small bolster to place under your neck.

It’s important you get your set up right for this. Take your time to get the equipment correct for your body. The big bolster or blankets go under the back ribs, so you really feel your front chest & ribs open. The belly sinks back into the body here. If there is any pinching in the lower back, the add more height under your hips. Make DSC_0493sure your tailbone lengthens towards your feet, keeping spacious in your lower back. Next, you need to make sure your head & neck are supported enough. Take whatever height you think is necessary here so you don’t feel you ‘crunch’ in the back of your neck. Be spacious here as well.

While you’re here, take some lovely deep breathes into the chest and ribs. This pose can really help stretch and open up the muscles for breathing, allowing the lungs to move more freely. On top of that, this pose is a lovely counter pose for desk work and help reduce fatigue, improves digestion and lifts your mood! Again, everything we need at this time of the year!

Lastly we came to Inverted Frog. Or this could also be called Adho Mukha Savasana, downward facing corpse pose! Here you will need a bolster to lay on, or 2 to 3 folded blankets & another folded blanket or pillow to rest your forehead on. DSC_0495

The whole of the torso, from cubic bone to chest should be supported by the bolster. There is a ‘breathing’ gap between the bolster & folded blanket or pillow for the forehead. This may need some adjusting to get it at the right height for the comfort of your neck. Remember, the alignment is usual right when it feels good!

Take some nice full back body breaths here. Let the breaths massage your inner body like you are taking a spa bath.

This pose is excellent for calming the mind! It deeply soothes the nervous system & helps relieve tension in the shoulders, lower back & hips. I found this pose deeply nourishing and a great way of ‘coming home’.

Don’t wait until you crash! Take some time out during this busy period to be with your breath and body, to centre yourself and balance your systems. When we take the time out to tend to ourselves, we found that we are so much more enthusiastic to attend others.

Take care this Festive Season. Be present and Be yourSelf.

Blessings to you all! xx

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