Searching for a way to release stress and keep up with your daily exercise routine before the holiday cravings take hold? Yoga is the perfect form of gentle exercise that may well change your attitude about food forever. If you’re struggling with temptation at the holidays, an evening yoga practice to relieve stress and stop hunger from happening can be the first step you make toward a life-long health practice that makes you feel great, improves health and immunity, and keeps weight off for good.
Here are some reasons to try yoga during the busy and bustling holiday season.
Less stress. High cortisol levels can be cleared from the bloodstream more rapidly with the addition of a daily yoga practice. You don’t need to have special clothing or pay for a gym membership to enjoy the stress-relief benefits of yoga. Next time you arrive home feeling tense after a day of holiday shopping, head over to YouTube and follow along with one of the many yoga teachers who share step by step yoga lessons for you to try in the comfort of home.
Better sleep. Better, deeper sleep can be had after doing just a simple and relaxing, half-hour session of yoga before retiring for the evening. There is no need to rush through the poses. Just take your time and breathe through each pose, holding for a count of six slow, mindful breaths.
Improved posture. If you’ve ever wondered if posture affects our body’s ability to perform, there may be some truth to this. At the very least, we’ll look better in our clothes, and feel more confident.
Slow, steady, permanent changes in physique. Long, lean muscles, and a tighter tummy and stronger core are the hallmark characteristics of people who do yoga as a routine practice. Imagine how great you’ll be looking and feeling once New Year’s is underway and you’re already steps ahead of the game when it comes to your weight loss resolutions.
Better digestion. If you’ve ever felt gassy, bound up or uncomfortable as a result of something you ate, yoga can help get your digestion going so that you will be able to pass the offending item more quickly and return to feeling good and balanced. Just think of how better off you’ll be when you can relieve Christmas meal-related digestive troubles simply by incorporating some healing yoga stretches into your evening routine.
Improved mood. This goes hand in hand with the stress relief of a routine yoga session. When we feel good, we are more likely to apply a positive attitude toward life’s challenges. We can also enjoy healthier relationships and get out of old repeat patterns of self defeat that no longer serve us. During the holiday season, sometimes we can be forced to revisit old family problems. Yoga is a great form of tension relief to help you cope!
If you’re ever experiencing a sudden food craving and want to see if it’s truly hunger versus the brain telling you it needs a burst of feel-good chemicals to counter the stress hormones, try doing a mini yoga session just to see if you can loosen up the hips and shoulders while giving the core a good workout. When finished, enjoy a refreshing drink of water, then see how likely you are to truly need that carbohydrate high.
You may just find that a small snack will suffice when you thought that a big binge session was about to take hold.