Maintaining a yoga practice is challenging at the best of times and gets even more so when the holidays approach, with all the added stress of Christmas, New Year and family gatherings. In a way, this is the ideal opportunity to implement a solid practice because the need is greater.
Sometimes all it takes is a mind-shift that only a full practice is worthwhile. Any practice is going to be better than none! If you only have 5 minutes, then do 2 Earth Salutations and 3 Sun Salutations. You will feel better, having focused your mind, energized your body and reinforced positive behaviour.
Of course, if you have more time... and here let me suggest that you actually book your self-practice as an appointment in your diary – the same as you would for the dentist, doctor or any professional meeting – then use the Knoff Yoga system to get the most out of your limited and precious time.
In Knoff Yoga there are 11 Asana Groups creating a balanced practice:
Earth & Sun Salutations
Inverted Poses (heating)
Inverted Poses (cooling)
When you are short of time, instead of doing the whole program (Discovery, Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced or Master), where there are multiple postures in each Asana Group, do just 1 or 2 from each group. You will still get a good work-out and importantly it will be balanced!
Let's briefly discuss overindulging with food, alcohol and partying. Obviously not a good idea in supporting your long-term health and spiritual growth plans. I highly recommend either completely avoiding, or at least decreasing your holiday alcohol consumption. Yes, there is some social lubrication that happens, but more likely is a sick gut and a thick head.
It is so easy to over-eat during the holidays and getting on your mat each morning will give you direct feed-back if you have overdone it. If you don't get on your mat, you can easily spin out of control and take weeks or months to regain your balance.
Family and friends deserve your best and so do you. Your best behaviour is in your best interest and will also be a positive influence on others who may not have your discipline, insight or life skills.
James E. Bryan E.R.Y.T. 500