This time of year can be stressful for many of us, as I was reminded yesterday whilst seeking solitude in the quiet, empty, warm sauna!! This is when we need to find calm the most and, as always, we can find this in yoga.
For some switching off work for a few days is worrying - what if something goes wrong while you're not there. For others the noise and bustle of everyone around at Christmas can be overwhelming. Or perhaps the silence of having no one around can be lonely. Expectations are high regardless because Christmas is built up to be such a significant time of year for so many. Added to that it's also a full moon and the longest day of the year. Whilst Winter Solstice is a time of re-birth and awakening the prospect of leaping into the new year can also be daunting! There are so many reasons why it's important to take some time out, often forgotten in the rush to get everything done.
Restorative Yoga and slowing down has it's place on all our mats, and I've found I go to it more at this time of year than ever. When we are stressed, excited, nervous we quicken our pace, but often we need to do the opposite in order to bring balance back into our lives - the main focus of Ayurveda. Releasing into props such as cushions, bolsters and blankets allows the body to completely let go as it is supported. The quiet space along with physical response helps the mind to let go.
As we move into a new year this is the perfect time to slow down, take stock and set intentions for the next phase from a place of calm. So, in the midst of the Christmas Choas take some time out, lie with your legs up the wall, a hot water bottle on your belly and give yourself some peace for 5 minutes.