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Nourishing the Body & Soul: Yoga's Healing Touch for Holiday Indulgence

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

The holiday season is synonymous with festive feasts and indulgent treats, offering a time of celebration and connection.

However, the aftermath of holiday indulgence often brings feelings of guilt and the inclination to embark on restrictive diets or punishing fitness routines. This year, let's cultivate a kinder approach.

Discover how a gentle, accessible yoga practice can be your ally in navigating the holiday season with ease and joy, without the burden of guilt or self-punishment.

Child's pose

1. Reduce Stress:

Easy Yoga Pose: Accessible Child's Pose (Balasana)

  • Sit on a chair and bend forward from the hips.

  • Fold your arms onto a table and rest your forehead on your arms.

  • Breathe deeply into your lower back, releasing tension and inviting a sense of calm.

Simple Movement: Standing Cat-Cow

  • Stand comfortably with a straight spine.

  • Inhale through your nose as you arch your back, exhale as you round, promoting gentle movement and stress release.

Breathwork: Box Breath

  • Inhale for a count of four, hold for four, exhale for four, and pause for four.

  • This controlled breath pattern calms the nervous system, reducing stress.

Standing Forward Bend

2. Promote Mindful Eating:

Easy Yoga Pose: Seated Meditation (Sukhasana)

  • Sit comfortably (on a chair is fine).

  • Practice mindful breathing, bringing awareness to each inhale and exhale before enjoying a meal.

Simple Movement: Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

  • Stand in front of a table / countertop with legs hipwidth apart (or wider)

  • Hinge at the hips and bend forward.

  • Fold your arms on the table and rest your forehead on your arms.

  • This pose stretches your back, legs and gives gentle relief to the whole body.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Breathwork: Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana)

 1. Sit Comfortably:

  • Find a relaxed seated position with a straight spine

 2. Use Your Hand:

  • Close your right nostril with your right thumb.

 3. Breathe Alternately:

  •  Inhale through your left nostril.

  •  Close the left nostril, exhale through the right.

  •  Inhale through the right nostril.

  •  Close the right nostril, exhale through the left.

  4. Repeat the Cycle:

  •  Continue alternating nostrils for 5-10 breath cycles.

  5. Focus on Relaxation:

  • Keep the breath gentle and focus on relaxation and balance.

Supported Supine Twist

3. Ease Digestion:

Easy Yoga Pose: Supine Twist

  • Lie on your back, bring one knee to the chest, and guide it across your body.

  • This gentle twist aids digestion and releases tension in the lower back.

  • You can support the bent leg with a bolster to further relax the stomach muscles.

Simple Movement: Knee-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana)

  • Lie on your back, bring both knees to your chest, and hold.

  • This movement promotes gentle compression in the abdominal area, aiding digestion.

Breathwork: Abdominal Breathing

  • Focus on diaphragmatic breathing to stimulate the abdominal muscles, aiding digestion.

Legs Up The Wall variation

4. Reduce Bloating:

Easy Yoga Pose: Wind-Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana)

  • Lie on your back, bring one knee to the chest, and hug it towards your abdomen.

  • This pose helps alleviate gas and bloating.

Simple Movement: Legs Up the Wall Variation

  • Lie on your back with legs resting on a chair / sofa.

  • Leave a comfortable distance between your pelvis and the chair.

  • This pose encourages gentle drainage of lymph and reduces bloating.

Breathwork: Abdominal Breath

  • Focus on slow, deep belly breathing to promote gentle compression and release in the abdominal area.

Supported Backbend

5. Lift Your Mood:

Easy Yoga Pose: Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

  • Lie on your back, bend your knees, and lift your hips towards the ceiling.

  • This heart-opening pose promotes a sense of joy and upliftment.

Simple Movement: Supported Backbend

  • Place a cushion or block under your mid-back, lie back, and extend your arms out to your sides or overhead.

  • Allow your spine to release downward as it gently arches over the support, promoting a comfortable and heart-opening backbend.

  • Avoid tensing lower back muscles.

Breathwork: Uplifting Breath

  • Inhale deeply through the nose, exhale through the mouth to release tension and elevate your mood.

This holiday season, let go of the guilt and punitive approaches to health. let your gentle yoga practice be a sanctuary of self-care. With easy poses, simple movements, and mindful breathwork, you can reduce stress, promote mindful eating, aid digestion, reduce bloating and elevate your mood.

These practices not only nurture your physical well-being but also cultivate a positive mindset, allowing you to savour the festive season with balance, self-love, and gratitude. Remember, the holidays are a time for celebration, connection, and enjoying the richness of life.

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