If you’re someone who celebrates Christmas then the likelihood is that you’ve got a lot on your plate today, so my gift to you today is a quick, simple practice. For me, yoga is all about the gorgeous simplicity of tracking sensation. Your intent today is simply that: Feel!
Do each pose for five to eight breaths (or five to eight breaths on each side, if it’s asymmetrical). Do five to eight rounds of abs.
Never stretch into pain. Take care of your body. If you’re pregnant then skip the abs exercise and don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right.
Take three deep breaths, focussing on the sensation of breathing.
Gentle stretch: Relaxing the neck
How to do it: Sitting or standing in any position which pleases you, take your focus into all the parts of you which are in contact with the floor. Ground down through those points so you can telescope your ribs and lift your heart. Relax your shoulders. Allow your left ear to drift towards your left shoulder, until the whole weight of your head is hanging. If this stretch is too much, then use your left hand to support your head in a comfortable stretch. Take five to eight breaths into the stretch, using your breath to rinse out any tension. Then cradle the head with the left hand and, keeping your neck completely relaxed, lift your head back to centre. Repeat on the right side.
Abs exercise: Abs with a Roll
Something zingy: Easy Twisting Lunge
How to do it: Start in a short lunge, with left foot forward. Have your back knee directly below your back hip, right angle bends in both knees. Bring your right hand to the floor in line with your front foot, about 12-18 inches to the right. Reach the other arm up towards the sky. If this is tweaky for your shoulder, then your left hand can rest on your hip. Inhale and roll your collarbones up towards the ceiling. Exhale and relax your neck and jaw. Press both legs into the ground and get your breath into anywhere that feels tight. Take five to eight breaths here, then untwist and switch sides - right foot forward this time.
Final relaxation: Lie on your back in a warm place for at least a minute and let tension drain from your body.