Ready for the Christmas holidays? After a long year of grafting, and with the long hours of darkness, I’m all for hybernating a bit, so my advice for the holidays is: relax! But in between watching films and eating chocolate, I think there is still space to incorporate some very yogi habits, which will bring great benefits to your daily routine without taking no effort at all.
Rather than seeing these actions as chores, view them as small ways to pamper and look after yourself, even over those days when all you’re ready to pile into your schedule is some professional lounging only! So here goes:
1. Use a tongue scraper in the morning
Always a good idea for great oral hygiene and fresh breath – but few know that tongue scraping is an ayurvedic practice that has many benefits. In Ayurveda, the oral cavity is considered to be one of the main passages between your body and the environment, so proper hygiene helps create balance and overall general wellness.
Using a tongue scraper daily helps clean toxins and bacteria from the tongue, eliminate undigested food particles, cleans the taste buds to enhance the sense of taste, and gently stimulates the internal organs. Watch this video to learn more about daily use of an ayurvedic tongue scraper:
Most people think meditation requires hours of practice, and their first reaction is: I don’t have the time! Well, it has been widely proved that for meditation to have hugely positive effects, you only have to do it for 10 minutes a day! A short daily practice counteracts the terrible effects stress has on our bodies, bringing actual healing.
So perhaps you’ve been putting it off because you didn’t know how to incorporate meditation into your routine, but now that you have a few days off for Christmas, why not give it a try? Start doing it for a week: you will begin to master the technique, and it will be much easier to carry on doing it for only 10 minutes every day, come January 2nd. And if you still have excuses… watch this excellent video:
3. Nadhi Shodhana pranayama
Another easy, simple practice which is suitable for most anyone, is Nadi Shodhana. It is a pranayama technique – that is, a powerful yoga breathing practice with wide-reaching benefits. It is also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing or Channel-Cleaning Breath: ‘nadi’ is a Sanskrit word meaning channel or flow, and ‘shodhana’ means purification.
Nadi Shodhana is primarily aimed at clearing and purifying the subtle channels of the mind-body organism. The deeper breathing enriches the blood with oxygen, lowers heart rate, reduces stress and anxiety, helps to relieve nervousness and headaches, strengthens the respiratory system and balances the nervous system. Watch how it’s done here:
4. Do a light and relaxing yoga routine
Now, let’s do some actual yoga! Nothing too strenuous at all. A light, simple set of stretching poses, which will nonetheless work your entire body, and help detoxify through twists and breathing relaxation movements.
Time this to your needs: either use this routine to incorporate just 15 minutes of yoga into your day, or hold the poses for however long you feel your body needs. I have demonstrated this for you myself, with a new video from my YouTube channel:
As you can see, in this video I use some yoga blocks and a strap. Of course you can use any props you have available, but if you’re thinking about buying these to practice at home, I can recommend this set (or this one if you are in the US).
So, do you think you can do one or all of these small yogi practices during the Christmas holidays? I would love to hear which ones you’ve chosen, and if you found them beneficial! Namaste 🙏🎄