Have yourself a very merry (and healthy!) Christmas

Bridge posture

Strengthen hips, bottom and core muscle in Bridge

For my final blog of the year, I thought I would leave you with my festive season survival kit – yoga focused on keeping you on top form this Christmas.

If you’ve been at classes the last couple of weeks you will be familiar with the practises, so I hope this will just remind you of some practical yoga you can do over the winter break and if you don’t come to one of our classes I hope it will give you some inspiration. If you really want to treat yourself, why not do your practice by candle light or fairy lights, it really is magical.

So, here are some of the things you might need to survive over the next couple of weeks! :

Indigestion and acid reflux

  • Try to do a simple twisting pose or the knee press about 20 minutes before you eat.
  • Eat fruit about hour before any other food and certainly not after a big meal. Fruit digests so quickly that if you’ve eaten something heavier before it, it just sits in your tummy, fermenting whilst the other food digests, so can cause indigestion.
  • Use the Sitting Side Stretch or Beam to stimulate the gallbladder and liver.
  • Sitting Forward Bend is beneficial for the liver, gallbladder and the pancreas.
  • Try drinking peppermint, chamomile or ginger teas to soothe the digestive tract.

Tummy upsets

  • Lay in Crocodile to ease a griping tummy. Focus on breathing into the abdomen to help the intestines relax.

Hangovers (not that I’m suggesting any of you will over-indulge, but you might have a friend who does!)

  • Use any twist to get assist the kidneys, Seated Spinal Twist is especially effective.
  • Drink plenty of water to rehydrate.
  • Move! To help you flush the toxins out of your body. Try a couple of rounds of sun sequence (slowly!).
  • Do some relaxation, your body needs rest to recover.
  • Sitting Forward Bend followed by Cobra will help the kidneys, liver and pancreas.

Colds

  • Use sun sequence to boost the immune system, but probably best not done if you’ve got a cold.
  • Plenty of rest and relaxation to give your body chance to heal.
  • Lion helps to keep colds, sore throats, ear infections etc. at bay, whilst Fig Tree helps to clear the sinus passages.
  • Try the age old practice of salt water nasal washing (jala neti) to clear out the sinus’ and flush out germs. They even recommend this now at the chemist!

Stress

  • Find some time to relax and / or do some abdominal breathing or the anahata breath, just 5 minutes is all you need.
  • Alternate nostril breathing is fantastic for helping you bring you back into balance, emotionally and physically. Great for relieving tension headaches too.
  • Be active to help you release stress hormones – go for a walk, dance, or do some brisk rounds of sun sequence (anything that increases your heart rate a bit).
  • Lay flat on your back, on the floor, to switch on your body’s natural relaxation response (the parasympathetic nervous system).
  • Practice the Earth Sequence – even better if you can do some rounds outside.

Stiff back, aching joints

  • Practice Cat or Bridge (see picture) to get your back moving.
  • Watch your posture! Stand up tall, have a good stretch and work those core muscles.
  • Do some of our activation moves and stretches to get your body moving. Try shaking out, some dynamic twists, hip circles, shoulder scoops or the beautiful figure of 8 flowing movement.
  • Use our unique Dru Yoga Energy Block Release sequences to release tension and stiffness from the back and joints.

In need of a mood boost

  • Yet another benefit of my trusty favourite, the sun sequence, is to elevate mood.
  • Work with strong side stretches, the Bhima, that we’ve been practicing in classes recently is perfect. This opens the chest and rib cage, and really does help you to feel more enthusiastic about things.
  • Make sure you are getting enough relaxation and quiet time. There’s nothing like sleep deprivation for shortening our fuses.
  • If your low mood is because you’ve had too much solitary time, then I would stay away from meditation and quiet yoga, focus instead on any of the dynamic sequences, kappalbhati breathing if you know it, and get out walking in the fresh air.

Hope this gives you some ideas for how you can practically use Dru yoga to keep you healthy and I really do hope you manage to find some time to practice your yoga as a prevention rather than a cure!

Peter, Brenda and myself wish you all a jolly Christmas and a peaceful New Year and we’re looking forward to seeing you all in 2016! Ix

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