Holiday Recipe to De-Stress and Feel Blessed

by Tracey Rich 

You know it don't come easy.  Food, family, sociopolitical conversations, and travel are all potential stressors of the season. Still, don't sing the blues this holiday by adding pressure to what you hope will be a time of celebrating loved ones and the many blessings of your life. If you can count even one blessing amongst your holiday review, you are on the right side of the balance sheet.  Our first ingredients for your recipe to de-stress are regroup and count your blessings.

Perhaps you can start with the place where you stand and move up from there.  The earth is a blessing and our foundation.  Roots rock, so start in your feet and stay there.  Being grounded is a gift that some people naturally have and others need to cultivate.  Sitting on the earth this season, if only to take a few breaths, can be helpful and feel soulful.  Cultivate a tadasana-standing mountain pose that respects the incredible architecture of your feet.  When you actually tune into the infrastructure that supports you as the base of all your standing poses, your practice takes on new balance, centeredness, and connection. The central core that you can access in your standing mountain, both physically and energetically, and in the play between upward and downward moving energy, will carry throughout your practice and your day.  

Move from the anahata chakra.  If the holidays are supposed to give you a break, but rarely do, then breathe.  The anahata chakra resides at the heart and breath center.  So while you are once again remembering to count your blessings, you can also remember that the heart and lung center is a source center.  We can't live without the almighty air that moves through our lungs and works in tandem with our precious heart.   Clear your mind, energize your body and engage in the great de-stressor--breathing.  You can make a single breath a conscious moment, or you can transform your breathing into an intentional practice of pranayama.  When you breathe with intention, tension goes down, energy goes up, your mind can become creative or clear, and you hit the reset button.

Be brave and wade into this season prepared to share your blessings and your holiday de-stress recipe with the world.  The world loves yoga.  Turn on your newfound traveling companion marooned in the airport terminal to your reset solution.  Teach Drunk Uncle a few new tricks at the post Thanksgiving dinner table.  Stand and deliver your resolutions from your heart as if nobody, no-how can knock you off your new tadasana.  Celebrate your blessings with thanks and gratitude this season.