Stress Free Holidays

How is one able to maintain a sense of peace and calm amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holidays?  What is one to do when they feel like the holidays are getting the best of them?

We live in a fast paced world where we are always on the go.    With the holidays right around the corner, things aren’t about to slow down anytime soon!  While this upcoming season of parties, family time and traditions is fun, it can also be overwhelming and at times even stressful.  

For starters, take a deep breath.  Or even better, take multiple rounds of deep cleansing breaths.  When we breath slowly and with purpose, we are able to trigger a relaxation response in our body.  This in return slows down our breath and heart rate and decreases blood pressure and muscle tension.  I will even visualize patience, compassion, and love flowing into my body with each inhale and frustration, anger, and judgement leaving with each exhale.

Conscious breathing enables us to “hit pause”, so that we are able to create space where we can CHOOSE how we want to respond as opposed to just reacting habitually as we always have in the past.  

Here are some quick and easy breath techniques to try on your own:

Lion’s Breath (Work up to 10 rounds)

Benefits: Lion’s Breath relieves tension and tightness held in the face and jaw while improving circulation. This energetic breathwork helps to ease a busy mind and opens the throat chakra.  Let your Lion’s Breath roar!

  • Sit in a comfortable seat and close the eyes for a few slow deep breaths.
  • Take a deep inhale through the nose and open your mouth as you exhale.
  • Stick your tongue out and stretch the muscles in your face as you exhale making the sound “haaaaah.” Your mouth should be as open as possible.

For those of you feeling a little less adventurous, here is another option:

4:6 Count Breath

Benefits:  4:6 count breath is extremely helpful when you know you will be facing a stressful situation or are in the middle of one.  It positively impacts our energy and mood and has an immediate calming effect.

  • Sit in a comfortable seat and close the eyes for a few slow deep breaths.
  • Steady your eye gaze in between the eyebrows or towards the tip of the nose.
  • Inhale through the nose for a 4 second count (May lengthen with practice).  Belly should swell and fill like a balloon.
  • Exhale through the nose for a 6 second count (May lengthen with practice).  Draw your belly button back towards your spine as you release your breath.

Note:  If you are new to breathwork, you may feel a little dizzy or light headed as you first try out these techniques.  That’s normal.  Your body is just letting you know it is not used to so much fresh air going in and stale air going out.  Adjust your breath as needed.  Be patient with yourself and keep practicing!

 Practicing mindfulness and meditation can also create a lasting calming effect and increase one’s capacity to handle stressful situations.  In order to demystify and simplify these helpful practices, we will be holding an experiential class in December.  We hope you will join us!

Meditation and Mindfulness for Beginners Class

Date:  Wednesday, December 6th from 5:30-6:30

Instructor: Lindsey Wrable, 500 HR Registered Yoga Teacher

Cost: $30


About the Author:

Lindsey Wrable is a 500 HR Registered Yoga Teacher and Level 2 Reiki who offers private yoga and meditation sessions at Richmond Natural Medicine. She is well versed in many different styles of yoga and can personalize each practice just for you.  She specializes in mood management and is passionate about providing relief to anyone who suffers from compulsive thoughts, anxiety, depression, low self esteem, and a feeling of disconnect with self and others. To schedule an appointment with Lindsey Wrable, our Yoga and Meditation Teacher, please contact the office at 804-977-2634