Continuing Your Yoga Practice During the Holiday Season

Photo courtesy of Louis Arevalo

Photo courtesy of Louis Arevalo

As I take some time away from teaching yoga to foster my own growth as a yoga practitioner and teacher over the next few weeks, I urge and encourage my students — and all who practice yoga — to continue your practice through this holiday season. Whether this means that you set aside a few minutes a day to do a single restorative pose or you manage to make it to yoga classes every week, keeping your practice going will be one of the most important things you can do to help yourself stay healthy and happy throughout this exciting but often stressful time of the year. To aid you in your efforts, I have compiled the following list of resources for you.

To my students: Thank you so much for your presence in classes throughout this past year. May your holiday season be filled with wonder, joy, laughter, yoga and love, and I look forward to seeing you again in yoga classes in the New Year. Namaste.

10 Suggestions for Maintaining a Yoga Practice Without Regular Classes

1. Schedule at least 5 or 10 minutes of yoga daily (or every other day, or however often you can!) on your calendar, and treat this appointment just as you would an important business meeting with a client.
2. During your yoga practice, turn off your phone.
3. Create or find a quiet space where you can practice without interruptions or distractions.
4. Start by grounding yourself in a comfortable seated pose, lying down, or in child’s pose. Breathe deeply and focus on being present exactly where you are for several minutes. Even if this comprises your entire yoga practice for the day, it “counts.”
5. If you have time for more yoga and you don’t want to make up your own practice, one of the videos listed below can provide guidance.
6. If you don’t have time for a video or prefer not to use a video, see if you can recall some of the warm-up poses/sequences and other poses and sequences from yoga classes.
7. Include poses and sequences that you like in your daily personal practice.
8. Consider exploring a pose or sequence that you don’t like as much ever so often, and see if you can move toward a more comfortable relationship with it.
9. Don’t force yourself to do anything that doesn’t feel good in your body. Honor yourself where you are on any given day.
10. Transition out of your practice with Savasana (corpse pose/final relaxation), giving yourself the time to absorb your practice quietly rather than jumping up and rushing off immediately to the next activity on the calendar.

10 Free Yoga Practice Videos Available Online

  1. Yoga for Seniors: The Whole Body with Michelle Rubin
  2. Full Length Gentle Yoga Class for Beginners and Seniors
  3. Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class for Beginners
  4. Intermediate Vinyasa Flow with Lesley Fightmaster
  5. Vinyasa Yoga 45 min Class with Lesley Fightmaster
  6. Intermediate Total Body Vinyasa Flow Yoga – 60 Minutes
  7. 30 Minute Candlelight Yin & Meditation Yoga for Relaxation
  8. Mindful Yin Yoga
  9. 30 Minute Restorative Yoga and Meditation
  10. Oceanside Restorative Yoga with Melissa McLeod

10 Yoga Books to Help You Expand and Refine Your Practice

1. Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living
2. The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice
3. The Path of the Yoga Sutras: A Practical Guide to the Core of Yoga
4. Mudras for Healing and Transformation
5. Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life
6. Yoga Beyond Belief: Insights to Awaken and Deepen Your Practice
7. The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
8. The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling
9. The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga
10. Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times

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