The 5 Best Yoga Moves to Destress Before Everyone Arrives on Christmas Day

If the fact that Christmas day is fast approaching (one week away!) gives you anxiety, you might want to consider incorporating the following yoga moves into your daily routine to help you through this busy time where frantic gift shopping and social commitments can become overwhelming. Yoga is renowned for relieving feelings of stress and anxiety as well as improving flexibility and contributing to an overall sense of wellbeing, so we decided to chat to yoga teacher Georgia Hicks who was able to elaborate on the benefits of practising yoga over the holiday period to keep you feeling calm and collected.

Georgia credits yoga and mindfulness as a great way to stay on track during the busy holiday period, adding that "practising yoga and mindfulness helps us feel like we have the ability to slow down time, even hit the 'pause' button so we don't feel too rushed and overwhelmed at this busy time". By remaining present (pardon the pun) during Christmas, you'll be able to engage in more meaningful conversations and remain focused on giving thoughtful gifts instead of worrying about your ever-expanding to-do list. 'Single tasking' as Georgia puts it, "is a bit like closing down all the extra tabs on your internet browser. It allows you to be more focused, energised and present in what you are doing in the present moment".

So, what's the best time of day to take to the mat? While Georgia tells us that it's tradition to start in the hour before the sun rises in the morning, she also adds that it's all about fitting in time wherever you can. For Georgia, this means taking small blocks of time throughout the entire day to focus on breathing and connect to her body. If you're worried that you don't have a full hour or that your setup doesn't look like a professional studio, you can incorporate simple things like standing on one leg when you brush your teeth or opting to sit on the floor instead of the sofa. Your yoga routine should be flexible and specific to you, your mind and your body. If you're looking for some specific poses to get started, Georgia has provided us with her top five to destress. 

1. Child's pose: To ground and focus inward.

2. Reclined butterfly with hands over heart and belly: To cultivate openness and connection.

3. Dangle with feet hip-distance and legs slightly bent: Gentle sway from side to side and imagine any stressful thoughts pouring out the top of your head.

4. Reclined twist: Imagine that you are 'wringing out' any stagnant or toxic feelings.

5. Warrior 2: To connect to our inner strength and feel grounded.

Keep reading? Try these utterly indulgent vegan recipe ideas this Christmas.

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