Christmas can be such a busy time what with all of the shopping, meal prep, decorating, singing carols… even Santa needs a little ‘OM’ time.
I’ve pulled together some Christmas related poses to get you in the seasonal spirit. Feel free to try them when the wrapping paper runs out, the oven overheats, or you're tuckered out from Christmas cheer.
‘Christmas Star’ Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)
From Downward Facing Dog, place weight into the right hand and shift onto the outside edge of your right foot, stacking the left foot on top.
Place your left hand on your left hip and when you feel stable, raise the left hand towards the ceiling.
Align the body into one straight line from head to toe. When you feel stable here, raise the left leg away from the right, keeping both feet flexed.
‘2 Turtle Doves’ Half Pigeon Pose (Ardha Kapotasana)
From Downward Facing Dog, raise the right foot off the mat, bend the knee and bring the knee towards the chest.
Keeping the right foot flexed, bring the right ankle in line with the left wrist, right knee in line with the right hip, drop the right shin and thigh towards the floor. Inch the left leg back a little further and un-tuck the toes so that the top of the left foot faces down.
Make sure both hip bones are facing forwards. Breathe into any tension or tightness here. After a couple of breaths, see if you can gently hinge forwards from the hips and rest on your forearms for a couple of breaths.
Eventually, see if you can lower the torso towards the floor, resting the forehead on the mat or the forearms. You may want to prop your right buttock with a foam block or blanket here if it does not sit comfortably on the ground.
‘Roast Turkey’ Crow Pose (Bakasana)
With the feet a little wider than hip-distance, squat down and place your hands flat on the mat shoulder distance apart. Begin to lift your hips upwards, keeping the knees bent and lifting the heels off the floor.
Lower the shins onto the triceps and tuck the knees into the armpits. You may find it easier to balance with bent elbows. Start to shift your weight forward into the fingertips and raise the feet off the floor.
Engage the core muscles for more stability and hold here for a couple of breaths.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Kneeling on your mat with, hips directly over your knees, place the heels of your hands on your lower back, fingertips pointing downwards. Encourage your shoulders and upper arm bones back and inhale to lift your chest.
Slowly, begin to lengthen through the spine and lean the torso back, keeping the hips above the knees. From here, extend your right hand back and place it on your right heel.
Do the same with the left hand making sure that your hips are still above the knees, press your thighs forward. If it is difficult to reach the heels, turn your toes under. If not too much of a strain, lengthen through the back of the neck and gently drop the head back.
Stay here for a couple of breaths and then bringing your hands to your hips and leading with the chest, lift your torso to an upright position.
‘Christmas’ Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Starting in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), find a fixed point to focus on and rest your gaze at this spot. Begin to shift your weight into the right leg and turn the left knee out to the left resting the heel above the ankle. If you are feeling balanced here, slowly slide your left foot up to rest on the inside of the right lower leg.
Bring your palms into prayer position in front of the heart centre. If you are feeling balanced here you may take it a little further and bring the left foot to press against the upper thigh. Raise the arms above the head, keep the shoulders relaxed.
Continue to create resistance by pressing the left foot against the right leg and vice versa. Stay here for a couple of breaths and then repeat on the other side.