Christmas is a great time to relax and enjoy seeing friends and family; yet sometimes it can end with over consumption, stress and exhaustion! Fear not – here are WooWoo’s top tips to bring a little well-being into your Christmas!
1. Use our Yoga to help you digest all those Calories
Christmas dinner is a distant memory, ample slices of Christmas cake and mince pies have been digested & it feels like you’ve been eating solid for the last few days. Here are some gentle Yoga exercises that can help you digest all those calories and get a good nights sleep:
a) Do some Deep Breathing
Pranayama Deep breathing is similar to a mild massage for the digestive organs. Inhale and let your belly expand from the diaphragm moving down, and on the exhale relax the stomach and let it fall in. The key here is not to force the movement of the stomach but to reduce all the tension that might get in the way of this natural movement. Especially when you exhale, don’t contract the stomach, but fully relax and soften it. It will naturally go toward the spine.
b) Try a Seated Heart Opener
Use this move when you’ve eaten too much. It will stretch out your belly and ease stomach cramps.
How to do it: Sit down on the tops of your feet and lean back, placing your palms about eight inches behind you, with your fingertips pointing away from you. Press your hands into the ground, lift your chest and arch your back. You should feel your hips pushing into your heels. Increase the stretch by lowering your head behind you. Feel the stretch in your throat and chest. Hold for five breaths, and then sit up.
Modification: You can do this pose while sitting in a chair. Lift your chest, arch your back and feel the stretch.
2. Get your whole Family involved in Meditation
Whether your reading a good book by the fireplace, snuggled up in bed for an extra hour, or sat on the sofa watching Top of the Pops from 1982 – the holiday season is for the most part relaxing and carefree.
However, there can also be plenty of moments that may test our patience. The overstimulation of too much TV, hours spent mindlessly shopping as well as indulgent eating can take a toll on our bodies and minds and even undo some of the relaxation and rest that we deserve after a long year.
We are fans of integrating your meditation practice with your daily and family life. Here are 2 ways to share a meditation practice with your family whilst keeping it lighthearted and inclusive.
a) Candle Gazing with the Family
This is a great way to involve the kids. Light a candle and have the family sit upright around it in a circle. Everyone keeps their eyes open and focuses on the flame for a few minutes without saying anything. It might be tempting to laugh at first and that’s ok too – its a form of bonding and can be a good starting point to then settle into silence. Continue to gaze at the flame until you cannot keep your eyes open and tears start flowing. Once this happens, close your eyes. You may find that an image appears in the back of your eyelids. We recommend doing this for about 10 minutes. A nice way to close is to share how you are feeling and to smile gently at each other.
b) Festive Walking Meditation
A playful way to relax would be to go for a mindful walk with your family or friends. This could be done indoors , but we suggest putting on your cosy new jumper, slipping on your mitts, grabbing your santa hat and heading outdoors. Walking meditation involves very deliberating thinking about and doing a series of actions that you normally do automatically. Breaking these steps down in your mind may feel awkward, even ridiculous. But you should try to notice at least these four basic components of each step:
a) the lifting of one foot;
b) the moving of the foot a bit forward of where you’re standing;
c) the placing of the foot on the floor, heel first;
d) the shifting of the weight of the body onto the forward leg as the back heel lifts
The slower you go the better, but obviously be safe with it. As you walk try to focus your attention on one or more sensations that you would normally take for granted, such as your breath coming in and out of your body; the movement of your feet and legs, or their contact with the ground or floor; your head balanced on your neck and shoulders; sounds nearby or those caused by the movement of your body; or whatever your eyes take in as they focus on the world in front of you.
3. Have a Sober Rave in your Living Room
So you’re having a great few days together over Christmas but the kids are fueled with present induced excitement and you can’t keep them under control! In order to let off some steam, why not involve everyone, children and adults alike, in a sober rave in your living room.
Turn down the lights, spin a few baubles on the Christmas Tree to get that glitter ball effect, and create a custom playlist on Spotify of everyone’s favourite songs.
Then get dancing, let them know that anything goes and allow everyone to let go and get into their groove– no alcohol necessary! – It will be the most fun you’ve had at Christmas for years!
4. Give Yourself a Present
We spend so much over the festive period – on food, drinks, new clothes, gifts and so on. But rarely do we indulge in something for our bodies that can have lasting effects for weeks and set us up nicely for the year ahead. Perhaps it’s the inconvenience of finding a local massage therapist or telling yourself you don’t have the time or money to be out of the house for an hour. It’s never been easier to compare the options – we recommend checking out:
to find a local treatment – ranging from reflexology (think deeply relaxing foot massage), to full body Thai messages.
WooWoo London is here to help you explore the well-being scene. You can trust that all our recommendations are vetted and that we remain impartial by not taking any sponsored ads.