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Preparing for the Holiday Season with Yoga

While the holiday season can be filled with joy, it can also be a stressful time of year. You may be worried about traveling, money, buying gifts, or even dealing with uncomfortable family situations. Yoga can help with a variety of techniques that can ease your holiday stress and worry.

Anxiety, panic attacks and high blood pressure can all result from stress during the holiday season. One of the easiest ways to reduce this stress is to simply relax, but for many this is far easier said than done. Fortunately, yoga can help teach you to relax and to stay calm and collected in tough situations, while also fostering a sense of happiness and harmony. Yoga strengthens both the mind and body. There are different types of yoga and those which emphasize slow, steady and gentle movements are ideal for conquering stress. If you’re never tried yoga before, you should practice with an instructor in a group class to help prevent injury.

With today's economy, the holidays can prove particularly strenuous on your finances. Yoga can help you to deal with this stress by teaching you to breathe and concentrate, while also helping you to view money in a different way. Yoga teaches you to look inside and this can help you to focus less on the material things and more on what truly makes you happy. When buying gifts this holiday season, be aware of the meaning behind them rather than their material value. Creating balance is a central theme in yoga that can be applied to your finances as well. Without balance in yoga, you may injure yourself; without balance in your finances, you may find yourself deeper in debt. Through yoga, you can learn to focus on the present moment, developing an awareness of both your body and your finances. This can be crucial during the holiday season, helping you to manage your finances and preventing you from overspending. These are lessons that can be applied during the holidays and throughout the rest of the year.

Traveling during the holidays is particularly stressful. Waiting in long lines, waiting for your luggage, dealing with weather problems can all put a damper on your travel experience. Practicing yoga can prepare you for these scenarios both mentally and physically. The Cat or Cow pose can be practiced before leaving for the airport and this will help improve your breathing and the flow of your movements. There are even yoga techniques that can be applied while sitting on a plane in flight! In a seated position, practice deep abdominal breathing as the flight takes off or whenever the plane hits turbulence. Other easy movements like the seated twist, side stretches, shoulder rolls and shoulder shrugs can also help to ease stress during flight. To improve reduced circulation caused by flying, you can elevate your legs for a few minutes after arriving. These simple techniques can be applied while traveling during the holidays to ease stress and fatigue and rejuvenate your body.

Uncomfortable family situations can make going home for the holidays stressful. Maybe you're dealing with the loss of a loved one or conflict among family members. Maybe you're meeting your fiance family for the first time. Awkward or uncomfortable family situations can't be put off forever and practicing yoga can help you to deal with them. Yoga can help you to conquer and embrace awkward positions, both physically and mentally, by challenging your mind and body. The Chair Pose is particularly beneficial in this regard as it increases endurance and persistence, strengthening you both physically and mentally. This is an awkward pose that, once conquered, can build your self-confidence and help you to accept awkward situations during the holidays and in life.

If you're dealing with the recent loss of a loved one, a normally joyous holiday season can easily become a somber one. While death is a natural part of life, it normal to fear it and have trouble accepting it. Through yoga, you can begin to face your fear of death and to see the deeper nature of death. Yoga allows us to view death as the beginning of eternity and life beyond the ego. By practicing yoga and meditation, you can get in touch with your deeper self and gain insight into your own fears of death, ultimately learning to release your feelings of helplessness and worry. Practicing meditation can help you to gain a deeper insight into death that can foster a sense of peace and closure.

Yoga is a great stress reliever for the holidays. Practicing yoga will help you to focus on what important while strengthening you both physically and mentally. This, in turn, will help you to find enjoyment and peace from spending time with family and loved ones. You will be better able to face any challenges that may arise while cultivating a sense of joy, happiness and peace during the holidays.

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