Keep moving and stress free at Christmas

It’s the time of year when everything gets crazy, the build up to Christmas is a busy time for most of us for all sorts of reasons which can mean our usual routines are thrown out of wack. The first thing to take a back seat is usually our exercise routine which can be anything from taking dance or yoga classes to simply going for a walk.

With classes taking a break over the Christmas and New Year period it is easy to stop moving without the encouragement of a class environment. All the extra stress in the lead up to Christmas and then indulging in holiday treats and hopefully some relaxation time is a good reason to keep up some simple exercises that won’t take up too much time but will help keep the joints mobile and the mind fresh.

For stress – Take some time to Meditate, find a comfy spot where you can sit and take 5 minutes to yourself, close your eyes and allow your mind to become quiet. Connect in with your breath and follow your inhale and exhale. Notice the small movements in the body that your breath creates and imagine the breath moving right through the body, breathing in new energy and life with each in hale, and releasing any tension with each exhale. As you feel ready slowly allow your awareness to come back to your surroundings, open your eyes slowly, feeling relaxed and refreshed.

For movement – These small movements can be done in the morning when you wake up, or any time of the day you are feeling stiff or tired to help blood flow and to lubricate the joints, you can do them either seated or in a standing position.

  • Starting with your hands, open and close the fingers to work through the knuckles.
  • Make a fist with your hands and make some small wrist circles in each direction.
  • Open the hands out, arms extended, palms up and bend through the elbows touching your hands to your shoulders then extending the arms out again.
  • Rest your hands on your shoulders and make some shoulder circles by drawing a circle in the air with each bent elbow, do a few in each direction.
  • Rest your arms by your side and gently move into the neck with some slow head circles in each direction.
  • Moving down to the feet, scrunch the toes on each foot and open them wide.
  • Then flex and point the feet.
  • Moving into the ankles make some circles with each foot, do a few in each direction.
  • Lifting each leg one at a time and pointing the toes, make some small circles moving from the knee, do a few in each direction.
  • With either the leg extended or slightly bent working from the hip joint making circles with each leg in both directions.
  • To finish take a big inhale breath raising arms over head, as you exhale move into a side bend to the right, inhale up, exhale move into a side bend to the left, inhale up and as you exhale let the arms float down to your sides.

You can work through each of these movements 5 or 6 times each, being mindful of how each one feels for your body.

With these few simple movements you can help maintain mobility and relieve stress over the Christmas and New Year period so take some time out for yourself!

Regan

Yoga at Belly Dance Arabesque