17 Dec Eat, Drink and Lock Your Knee: 3 Yoga Postures for Happy Holidays
Love or dread the holiday season, one thing is for sure.
Yoga is the perfect practice to keep you healthy, sane and merry.
Here are three hot yoga postures to keep your holidays happy.
1. Standing head to knee. Holidays aren’t big on humility. All the more reason to set an example for your friends and family. Balancing in standing head to knee pose comes to mind. Bikram calls this pose a ten year posture. That’s how much perseverance it requires.
One day the knee fully locks out and your elbows swing wildly down. The next day your standing leg wobbles and shifts your body weight onto your outer foot until you plié on your mat like a drunken ballerina.
And that’s okay. It’s human to fall out of posture, it’s yoga to jump back in. And if you carry this humility with you to parties, shopping and other events, your family will be all the merrier.
2. Let go in class, let go in life. It’s hard to let go of our personal space when we have relatives partying or even sleeping at our homes. That’s the genius of yoga. It’s a practice. It’s not what you get after you’ve done everything right.
When you’re struggling to touch your elbow to your knee in triangle pose, there’s no need to beat yourself up for not crushing it. Even if being a perpetual beginner conflicts with the strong and disciplined image you have of yourself.
Part of yoga is letting go of the need to have all our questions answered right away and to expect a quick fix. And the postures remind us that once we get off the mat and into the world, nobody knows how to do life perfectly. We’re all just guessing.
3. Take a step in the direction of faith. For many people, holidays are a time of deep faith, whether or not that involves religion or god. And as yoga reminds us, it takes practice to believe in ourselves.
That’s why it takes weeks, months, and some- times years before our bodies achieve the full expression of certain postures. Balancing stick pose, also known as tuladandasana, is the ideal example. It’s only ten seconds long, and it’s a graceful posture if executed well, especially for us lanky, tall folks.
Perfecting the motion can take many weeks or even years of effort. And so, if you’re not where you want to be in your yoga practice, keep practicing. See if you can push past the part of you that doesn’t believe in yourself. Find teachers and fellow students from whom you can borrow courage until you have some of your own.
And keep stepping forward as an act of faith in yourself. The people in your life will notice you acting differently, even if they can’t spell it out.
Happy holidays, namaste, and as my yoga teacher says every winter, “eat, drink and lock your knee.”
Scott Ginsberg is the author of 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat: A Year in Hot Yoga.
Buy your copy here!