Thursday, December 7, 2017

Inner Peace

Happy holidays ... time for festivity and spending time with loved ones! However, all the hustle and bustle can cause many of us to experience anxiety and stress. Our healthy habits and inner peace get misplaced. Fortunately, we can find refuge in the ancient wisdom of yoga. The goal of yoga is tranquility; a centered, calm place of peace where we can let go of the stresses of the day. 
Peace is not a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Inner peace is the ability to stay mentally, emotionally, and physically steady even in the midst of turmoil. Maintaining inner peace can be challenging during the holidays. Yet it is essential to our well-being so that we can interact with our loved ones and the community in a healthy way. 
Here are a few thoughts on how to remain centered and calm during the flurry of the season.

  • Tune in; take a few moments before you begin the day for quiet contemplation. You can follow this with gentle yoga poses that circulate a healthy energy flow in the body. 
  • Remember the reason for the season; no matter what big business says the most important gifts come from the heart. Spending time with loved ones is a gift itself!
  • Create comfort; transform your space into a warm place where others feel welcome. Relaxing music, candles, soft pillows all set a stage. 
  • Eat well; but be mindful of what you consume. There is no need to deprive yourself just remember to make healthy choices. 
  • Take time for you; when you feel good you give off good vibrations. Practice yoga, go for a walk, soak in the tub...
Our story this month; I am centered and calm. 
We begin our practice with child's pose. Child's pose is often used as a resting pose, a place where you can take a break between challenging poses. It's also a great pose for beginning a practice, it allows us to connect with our "center" that calm place of inner peace. 
Child's pose 
Begin on your hands and knees and bring the big toes to touch, then sit back on your heels. Inhale and lengthen the spine, exhale and fold forward allowing the chest to rest on your thighs. Extend your arms with the palms facing down, forearms and forehead touch the ground. Lengthen from your hips to your shoulders and out through your fingertips. Let the upper back broaden as the lower back softens, tension melts away from the shoulders, arms, and neck. Keep the eyes closed and focus on the breath. Inhale and notice the back of the body opening as the lungs expand, exhale and the front of the body releases. Connect with your center, stay here for a couple of minutes. To release the pose gently walk your hands back until you are sitting upright. 


Child's pose centers,  calms, and soothes the brain, relieving stress. Since child's pose is a resting pose it is important to make whatever modifications you need to feel comfortable. Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you have difficulty sitting back on your heels, place a folded blanket between the back of the thighs and calves. 
  • Bring the knees wide apart.
  • Rest your forehead on a block or blanket. 
  • For a more restorative pose, rest your arms alongside your thighs with the palms facing up.   
Cautions; do not practice child's pose if you have a knee injury. Pregnant women should only practice the wide knee version. 

May you have a happy, healthy holiday season!


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