5 Ways to Incorporate Yoga into the Holidays

Sure, it's nice to visit with friends and family in the spirit of giving and all of that, but sometimes it gets so busy it's easy to get lost in all the madness and forget about the things that keep you sane. I'm not going to let it happen to me this year--and neither should you!
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Sure, it's nice to visit with friends and family in the spirit of giving and all of that, but sometimes it gets so busy it's easy to get lost in all the madness and forget about the things that keep you sane. I'm not going to let it happen to me this year--and neither should you!

Every year it hits me like a ton of bricks. The holiday season (as defined by retail stores and advertisers) means a lot of hustle and bustle, gift buying, decorating, traveling, and all-around chaos. And the food--all that glorious food!

Sure, it's nice to visit with friends and family in the spirit of giving and all of that, but sometimes it gets so busy, it's easy to get lost in all the madness and forget about some of the things that keep you sane, like yoga! I'm not going to let it happen to me this year; neither should you!

Here are five ways to incorporate your yoga practice into the holidays.

1. Set an Intention. Just as you set an intention for your yoga practice, it's a great idea to set an intention for the holiday season, too. Gratitude is a great intention for Thanksgiving (Duh. That's the whole point!), but that doesn't mean you have to move on when the leftovers are gone. Choose an intention that means something to you and meditate on it throughout the holiday season. Remember it every time you hear holiday music blasting through the speakers at your local retail establishment to keep you grounded. (Take that, Holiday Consumerism!)

2. Renew Your Commitment. Yes, I know you're busier than usual. There are trees to be trimmed, gifts to be purchased, sweet treats to be made, and a thousand other excuses to skip out on your asana and meditation practice this time of year. Don't. Sure, a commitment to your yoga practice might keep your belly from shaking like a bowl full of jelly when you laugh (ho ho ho!), but more important, it will help you see that there's a reason to keep laughing even when things get crazy.

3. Tap into Community. For a lot of people, the holidays are about spending time with family and friends. Why not some celebrate with your yoga buddies this holiday season, too? You don't have to plan yet another holiday party -- just make a point to check in, share a laugh, and support each other -- especially as things get busier in the coming weeks!

4. Be Mindful. The holidays give you many unique opportunities to practice mindfulness. Be mindful when you eat, speak, shop, and visit with family. If you let your intuition guide you, you won't have to stress over how many calories you ate or wonder whether you should have said that to your opinionated Aunt Edna.

5. Take Care of Yourself, Too. Of course, you want to please other people during the holidays, but it's more important than ever to make sure you get enough rest and take some time for yourself, too. Put your legs up the wall, take a bubble bath, get to a yoga class--just make sure you get some time away from all the stimulation so you can rejuvenate.

How do you incorporate yoga into your holiday traditions?

Erica Rodefer is a writer and yoga practitioner in Charleston, SC. Visit her blog, Spoiledyogi.com, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook.