1. Set the tone for holiday celebrations
Some people experience the holidays as a stressful, emotional time—they seem frazzled and disconnected until January 2nd. Then there are those people who seem to radiate happiness and warmth toward everyone they meet because they're just enjoying the season. Long lines at the grocery store or burnt Christmas cookies don't faze them! I want to be more like the latter, and I think practicing more yoga is the way to help me get there.
2. Stay present in the moment
The holiday season can bring out the best in people—but sometimes it brings out the worst, too. Maybe it's the lights and the gifts, but something about the holidays can all too quickly turn me back into a bratty, jealous 10-year-old who can't get along with her siblings. Yoga helps me get grounded and enjoy the present celebration without harping on the past.
3. Get in shape for those mall marathons
Just kidding! Seriously, though, shopping for loved ones can be seriously stressful. If that's a part of your holiday tradition, yoga can help you both manage your stress and keep yourself in check and focused on what's really important—spending time celebrating with family and friends.
4. Remind yourself that a little goes a long way
Remember when you first started doing yoga and your teacher told you that it's more important to keep your spine straight in a forward fold than cranking your neck just so you can touch your nose to your shins? I like to apply this scenario to the holidays, too. You can't do it all—so just do enough to give yourself and those around you a nice feeling of the holidays; that way you won't overexert yourself and you can enjoy it so much more!
5. Santa's watching!
As adults, we know that there's no chubby man a red suit checking off our behavior on his Naughty or Nice list. But it still feels great to be a little kinder to those around us during the holidays—and that includes kindness to ourselves. We spend so much time thinking about others during the season that it's easy to forget to feed our own souls. If your daily yoga practice is something that gives you joy, make time for it and everything else will fall into place.