Happy Holidays!

Holidays can easily make you nuts.  You might see your family (all of whom you would swear are certifiable).  You might be overwhelmed at the idea of holiday decorations (none of your lights will work, nope none, unless you find that one single little sucker that needs some extra twisting).  Perhaps its holiday entertaining that ruffles your feathers (doesn’t everyone love making 43 teensy petit fours out of poached pears and candied walnuts?).  Whatever it is that pushes your buttons during the holiday season, these five little yogic tips will have you caroling “Hello” rather than “Hell, no!”

1. Left nostril breathing

This is a simple and quick fix for stress when you need some calming.  You can always find a place to get away and sit for a moment…if you can’t, try the shower…and place your right thumb over your right nostril, blocking it off. Breathe long and deep through the left nostril, paying attention to give equal time to inhaling and exhaling.  Devote as much time to this practice (3 minutes to 31 minutes) as you can manage.

2. Chant

While your family might think you’re speaking in tongues, chanting can have an extraordinary effect on your state of mind.  If you’re uncomfortable, try locking yourself in a closet for some free time and chanting (that’s one Spirit Voyage reader’s tip…), or taking a drive to be by yourself so you can really belt it out.

Chanting Waheguru Waheguru Waheguru Wahejio for 11 minutes is a remedy for anger.  Try it….it won’t let you down!  If there is some family karma that needs to be lifted, try 11 repetitions of the mantra Ant Na Siphatee.  When all else fails and you feel like you’re drowning in stress, chant Guru Guru Waheguru Guru Ram Das Guru for as long as feels good to you.

Aquarian by Nirinjan Kaur

3. Yogi Tea not Coffee

This one is simple and much less likely to attract attention.  Caffeine stresses out your adrenals and nervous system, which make them far less able to appropriately manage holiday stress.  Throw on a pot of Yogi Tea, filled with yummy spices, and it will create a delicious fragrance in your kitchen and relaxation in your body.

4. Camel Pose and Baby Pose

These two trusty yoga asana serve a powerful purpose during the holidays.  Camel Pose reminds you to keep your heart open, and Baby Pose reminds you to honor the Infinite, no matter what’s going on in your life.  Plus they’ll keep your spine loose, and, a flexible spine is a flexible mind.

Camel Pose

Baby Pose

5. Rescue Remedy Spray

Just four squirts and this combination of five flower essences from the English physician Dr. Bach will have you backing away from the mistletoe noose.  Billed as “yoga in a bottle”, it is great when emotions explode to the surface and works for shock, grief and even cooking emergencies like burning your hand on the pie dish.

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