5 Poses to Survive Your Family This Holiday - Yoga Journal

5 Poses to Survive Your Family This Holiday

Does your family of origin know exactly how to push your buttons? This sequence will help you react and communicate from your true self, not your childhood self.
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feet by a fire, calm

It's okay to take a little time for yourself in the midst of family "togetherness."

It's often called "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," but the Holidays are often the most challenging. Even those of us with dedicated practices can experience frustration and anger with our families. 

Renowned spiritual teacher Ram Dass famously said, “If you think you are enlightened, go spend a week with your family." I personally cannot count the amount of holidays I was wrapping my legs behind my head doing Ashtanga in the hallway to stay sane, while my family members wrapped gifts in the other room.

Why do we get so triggered? 

Often, our mind is hijacked by old relationship dynamics and familiar scripts. We lose the clarity of the present moment and connection to our true Self. We start responding as if we were 10 years old again, instead of the more evolved adult we have become. 

See also 4-Step Meditation to Beat Holiday Stress

Luckily, we can call on yoga to help. Our practice is truly the gift that keeps on giving. As children and teens, managing our feelings and making sense of emotions might have been challenging. Now as adults, we have skills we can employ when frustrated or sad, such as language, self-compassion, and even specific poses. This can be incredibly healing!

Beneath even the most meaningful layers, like our identity and familial connection, there is a place inside of us that is eternal and invincible. This is a place of love, patience, connection, and generosity. This is our true nature. We glimpse this place every time we get on the mat, but we can also quickly lose it when we start fighting our brother for the remote control or mom comments on our weight. 

This five-pose sequence will help you survive family during the holidays by reconnecting you to your true Self. You don’t need much space or time to do this! Whether you commandeer a bathroom for ten minutes or sequester yourself in the basement, this sequence will help you stay grounded in connection, so that you can give and receive love freely. 

See also A TCM-Inspired Home Practice to Ease Holiday Stress