How Yogis Keep It Zen During the Holidays
Walking meditations, slow, mindful flows and a simple change in perspective—so key for staying stress-free
The holidays are stressful for pretty much everyone (yep, even yogis), but our flexible friends have figured out a thing or two about staying sane when things get insane. Find out how some of your faves handle the busy season below.
“My daily practice helps me stay in a more grounded, stress-free state of mind during the holidays. I find that if I start my day with my practice, I get the chance to connect to my body and move with my breath, which allows me to quiet my mind. I find that moving always feels good! Also, I find it helpful to set an intention at the start of the day to practice gratitude or journal at the end of the day about what I enjoyed most. A friend of mine wrote something that really resonated with me—instead of saying ‘I have to,’ replace it with ‘I get to.’ So, instead of saying ‘I have to wake up and practice,’ it’s ‘I get to wake up and practice.’ This helps remind me of how lucky I am and shifts my thoughts into a place of gratitude, which usually curbs any stress. And also… chocolate!”
“I always spend the holidays surrounded by family who I don’t see much throughout the rest of the year. It’s a time I’m extraordinarily grateful for, sharing love and laughter with those that mean the most to me. As an introvert though, it can also leave me feeling anxious, exhausted and in need of time on my mat away from a studio setting. When the world around me is speeding up, I focus on slowing down—my mind, body and practice. The majority of my personal practice throughout November and December consists of slow flows and deep breaths hidden away in my bedroom or an outdoor space when the weather is kind enough. It allows me to calm my mind and reconnect with myself.”
“The holidays are a time for celebration and reflection. Who doesn’t love all the festivities? I know I do! But we all know that the holidays take a lot of mental and physical energy. They also bring stress and anxiety when you are thrown off your normal routine. To make the holidays more enjoyable, I do a few simple things: almost every day I do my walking meditation to give myself the opportunity to acknowledge any feelings that come up and give myself space to feel, I practice conscious breathing wherever I am, which helps clear my mind and lessen the anxiety that comes up in stressful situations, I usually modify my yoga practice during the holiday season—If I can’t make it to the studio, I practice at home, and if I have very little time to practice, I make sure to squeeze in a few minutes to move my body—and I keep myself organized and plan ahead with holiday activities.”
“When it comes to the holidays, I find that moderation is the best way to combat the seasonal stress. It’s so easy to over-commit, over-indulge and underestimate what we truly need to feel good. There’s this sweet spot between allowing ourselves to indulge in the joy of the season and still maintaining the routines and self-care habits we’ve worked hard to cultivate. I use the Goldilocks rule for virtually everything in my life—not too much, not too little, just enough. The Middle Path keeps me sane, excited about what life throws my way and still grounded enough to listen to my intuition in most situations.”
“During the holiday season I enjoy doing yin yoga most. I feel like everything around the holidays is structured around being busy, accomplishing everything so it’s ready and generally feeling rushed, so doing Yin yoga is my release from it all. Spending 10 minutes or 40 minutes doing poses or longer holds is exactly what my body needs to stay in good health through it all.”