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Flowing into the holidays

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Festive and exciting, but yet stressful and demanding describe the holiday period aptly. Some of us are weaving in and out of traffic to find deals and last minute gifts, while others are determined to achieve goals set 11 months ago. Despite efforts to remain at ease, we will experience a diverse range of emotions as the year comes to an end. As we flow in to the holiday period, it’s important to set aside time for health and self-care.

There are small actions, practiced with conscious attention and consistency, that will make all the difference as we graciously flow from one season to the next. Since we want to experience calmness and come back from the holidays refreshed, it’s important to tune in to what we want to attract – nurtured mind, body and soul. Here’s my go-to list on how to make this happen:

Make time for yoga.
Even if it’s just 10 minutes everyday, make it happen. Make time to synchronize your breath, body movement, thoughts and emotions on and off your yoga mat. Yoga practice is a sure way to soar above stressful moments. We all have family obligations to address, but wouldn’t you rather manage these responsibilities from a full cup. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first and let your overflow take care of others”. When you devote time to connect your mind, body, soul, people will experience you wholesome, and that’s wonderful for everyone. Try the yoga pose below. It’s called malasana, or yoga squat.
Daily practice of yoga squat elongates the spine, strengthens the core, opens the hips, stretches leg muscles, stimulates metabolism and helps find balance. Best of all, the squat offsets adverse effects of sitting for long periods of time; think tight hamstrings, hip-flexor muscles and stiff lower back. Malasana also relaxes the nervous system, improves concentration, and develops stronger lung power. Keep your feet flat on the mat or for a deeper challenge remain high on your toes while steadying your gaze on one focal point.

Get out of your head and into your body.
Instead of dwelling in the mind, pay attention to signals communicated by the body. The aches and stiffness experienced in the body have been suppressed long enough. During this holiday, find time for a full body massage or acupuncture. If money is tight, ask your partner or friend for a massage and remember to give one in return. Communication is bi-directional – give and receive; receive and give – and essential to every cycle. Align with cycles that reveal your willingness to love everything about who you are becoming. Getting into your body is a great start.

Journal your experiences.
Instead of harboring thoughts in the mind, jot them down in a journal. In 2011, a friend once told me to end each day by writing every good news and compliment received. “These are messages from the Universe”, she told me, and by searching for what to journal at the end of the day, your attention will align with good news and compliments only. In other words, when you seek goodness, goodness is all you’ll see. Besides, it feels good to unclog the mind by writing things down. Give journaling and try and let me know what you think on my Instagram page @Chocolako .

Hush and Listen: Answers Come from Stillness
Enter tranquility through stillness. During stillness, unconsciousness shifts to consciousness with each inhalation and exhalation. In stillness, resistance ends and gives way to clarity. It’s okay to jump off the “buzz wagon” and dwell in quietness. This meditation flow will help with the leap:

Determine a comfortable seated position, and relax your shoulders away from your ears. Keep your spine straight, and focus your attention on your breath. Close your eyes and visualize a square.

Inhale through your nose as you concentrate on one side of the square. Hold your breath and follow your gaze to the next side of the square. As you exhale follow your gaze toward the other side of the square. Allow your gaze and breath to complete the last side of the square. Repeat.
Inhale (for 10 seconds) – Hold (for 10 seconds) – Exhale (for 10 seconds) – Hold (for 10 seconds). Try for five minutes. Lengthen each side of the square to as long as 15 seconds, otherwise reduce to 5 seconds or return to 10 seconds. After a couple of minutes of counting, you will find a rhythm. Flow with it.

Meditation is a huge energy booster and will carry you into the new year with ease. Take time to focus on your health and self-care.
I look forward to flowing with you into this season and the next…All is well.

Namaste J


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