How to find your yin in all the yang at this time of year

Finding calm in a hectic world might seem a hard feat, especially in December when there is so much going on around us.  But it is possible to take the ‘Peace’ junction from the Christmas and New Year motorway which will allow time to reset, replenish and adapt. 

The Christmas season is meant to be a time of joy, and you may absolutely love this time of year and cannot wait for December 1st to put up your tree and lights. But for many people it can be a time of stress, anxiety or loneliness. Christmas comes with high expectations of perfect, happy families enjoying sumptuous meals and lavish gifts, but not everyone is able to live up to these ideals. Many are overwhelmed by the parties, the shopping and the gift-giving. Together with higher food and alcohol intake, deadlines, being bombarded by commercialisation when facing financial constraints, and the sadness and loss of being unable to be with family & friends, these are classic triggers for anxiety and low mood. If you’re not protecting your own peace, or taking care of yourself by setting boundaries, this time of year can feel like a lot!

Here are a few ways to protect your peace:

  1. Don’t say yes to everything. 
  2. Learn to say no, but make it polite. 
  3. Write down things you have to do. (Start a list and prioritise)
  4. Give yourself time to make a decision. (Stop, take a breath before you answer)
  5. Spend time with people who make you feel good. (Not everyone makes us feel good)
  6. Find time for you. (Take a Yin or Restorative Yoga Class)
  7. Talk to yourself like a friend. (Listen to what advice you have for yourself)
  8. Slow down if you need, you don’t have to do everything
  9. Remember there is no right or wrong way to spend Christmas

You may not realise your life is in need of balance and a much needed break from the ‘busyness’. But when it comes to yoga, seeking more yin energy to complement all the yang activities you perform each day is an absolute must. If you’ve only ever practiced Hatha, Power or Vinyasa you may not have heard of Yin or Restorative Yoga or had the opportunity to take a class. When a teacher tells you you’re going to remain in the same posture for a long time (between 2 and 10 minutes) maintaining stillness throughout and only do 5 postures in a 60-minute class, there is a good chance you think it will be boring, challenging and decline the class. I won’t judge you; this is how I felt the first time I was told about Yin Yoga (coming from a Vinyasa and strong Hatha background). Little did I know I would fall in love with the practice of Yin and completed a Yin Yoga teacher training course a few years ago so I could learn more about the benefits and the philosophy to share with you. This is how I use the Power of Yin to infuse into everyday life; taking time to breathe, find stillness, peace and calm.

Yoga can help promote peace by taking us out of our heads and into our bodies, therefore offering honest awareness of how we are feeling and where we hold tension. Simply bringing our awareness to pain points, be they physical or mental, we can begin to acknowledge and open a pathway for change. Yoga can bring inner peace to a fast-paced and stressful world and offers an effective medicine to daily life pressures, by promoting mental and emotional well-being. The combination of physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation helps alleviate stress, reduce anxiety and build resilience. Try a Yin or Restorative practice for yourself this month and balance the peace amongst the parties.

Wishing you a peaceful and joyous season ahead and I hope you find your road to inner peace and calm!

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