Tapping Into the Healing Power of Yoga During the Holiday Season

The most wonderful and busiest time of the year is here! Holidays can be a time of joy and spending time with family and friends. But, it can also be a stressful time of the year. Taking care of yourself in the midst of all the parties and togetherness, shopping, and in general fulfilling the holiday to-do-lists can be overwhelming. It is easy to become overextended, overcommitted, and overwhelmed. While we don’t think about it, as a result, our patience and energy gets challenged and depleted. So, our own well-being gets sacrificed and we find ourselves exhausted and feeling out of balance. 

Yoga can be a perfect remedy! It’s one form of exercise that helps relieve stress while improving strength, balance, flexibility, and overall health. Yoga works across multiple systems in your body at one time to help reduce various aspects of emotional and physical pain. For the purpose of stress management, yoga boosts your immune system by raising levels of disease-fighting antioxidants in your body. Even if you are a beginner to yoga, this practice allows for the ability of your body to switch on genes that promote emotional resilience and stress relief. These improvements have been backed up by multiple studies including ones conducting from Harvard University and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 

During this time of year, please nourish and take care of yourself by engaging in yoga practices. More specifically, Restorative Yoga practices aimed at reconnecting your inner calm and balance and replenishing energy is recommended. Additionally, Yoga Nidra practices are suggested as they promote deep rest and relaxation while resting comfortably in savasana (corpse pose). Begin by beginning. Even the inexperienced yogis of all ages will benefit from finding inner quietude and experiencing calming practices. 

I leave you with this loving-kindness metta prayer:  

“May you be healthy”

“May you be happy”

“May you be safe”

“May you be kind to yourself”

Try sending these kind wishes to yourself and then to a loved one. 

Maria Kanakos, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist