Holidazed and Confused? These Yoga Poses Can Help.

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The holiday season brings joy and reverence, sure. But it also delivers a whopping dose of insanity in the form of frantic shopping, waiting forever at the post office, and way too many things on your to-do list. Plus, there’s the issue of traveling or hosting, making small talk at parties, and the doozy that can send many of us into a heady tailspin: assessing where you are in life versus where you were the last time Christmas music started driving you nuts.

If you wish you had a river you could skate away on during the holiday season—or even if you could just use some extra inner peace–consider integrating the following shapes into your everyday routine. Whether you regularly practice yoga or not, instantaneously striking a pose in the (very long) checkout line at Target might inspire everyone around you to take part in some impromptu group yoga. And we can all use a little extra om.

7 Yoga Poses to Bring Relief to the Holidazed and Confused

1. Child’s Pose

The next time you feel like curling into a ball because you’re overwhelmed by everything the holidays throw at you, do it. But do it, then extend your arms in front of you and give yourself a long, slow sigh out. Stay in Child’s Pose for a few breaths—or a few hours.

2. Tree Pose

To keep yourself grounded while buying a $50 gift for your nephew who never says, “Thank you,” root down through your feet and anchor your big toes. Raise your left leg and place the sole of your foot above or below the knee of your right leg. Close your eyes and try not to think about the fact that you’ll also be spending $200 on an actual tree that’s been cut down and that you’ll kick to the curb at the end of the month. As you raise your branches toward the sky in Tree Pose, pay homage to your Christmas tree that will soon be living—albeit temporarily—in your living room.

3. Wind-Relieving Pose

If you’ve been eating oily foods to celebrate Hanukkah or too many sweets in general, wind-relieving pose needs no explanation. IYKYK.

4. Star Pose

Back to that Christmas tree, which you’ve resolved that you actually love and can’t wait to go pick out with your family thanks to some slow, deep breathing. Pretend that you are decorating your tree with all members of your family—with none of them complaining about it. Move into Star Pose, with your legs strong and your arms outstretched toward the top of your Christmas tree as you reach and place the penultimate decoration, the star, at its top. Doing so with intention might send vibrations to your cat, communicating that the ornaments are not to be swatted at or otherwise attacked.

5. Standing Forward Bend

Because forward folds help you turn inward, engage in a longheld one while taking deep, slow, meditative breaths before and after spending too much time with your crazy aunt who tries to sell you on her pyramid scheme. (It might keep you from becoming an angry elf.)

6. Sun Salutations

With darkness falling at 4:45 today and 4:44 tomorrow and basically 2:30 p.m. by December 21, engage in Sun Salutations to imagine feeling warmth on your face even after work. After December 22, do your Sun Salutations in celebration of days getting increasingly longer.

7. Warrior I, II, or III

You’ll need a Warrior attitude to fight, I mean, to extend love and kindness to other holiday shoppers. So extend your arms strongly, engage your core intentionally, and root down into the ground beneath you in Warrior I, II, or III. Carry that energy throughout December.

8. Finally, Savasana

Savasana, Savasana, Savasana. And happy holidays!

About Our Contributor

Writer, editor, author Lisa Jhung is a contributing editor to Yoga Journaland writes regularly for Outside and other titles. She is the author of two running books that are illustrated, informative, and (surprise!) jokey: Trailhead (VeloPress, 2015), and Running That Doesn’t Suck (Running Press, 2019). She’s been practicing yoga for more than 20 years, mostly to balance out and recover from trail running and other adventurous exploits. 


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