3 Poses to Christmas Bliss – 5 to 30 Minute Restorative Home Yoga Sequence to De-stress and Unwind

Mary Ann Weeks Aveda Guildford studio yoga and pilates teacher, Elena Fulton, takes us through a gorgeous restorative sequence to practice at home, designed especially for you over this festive period! We hope you’ll enjoy…

Christmas is such a cheery time of year, but equally can be a very stressful time too! Choosing and buying presents, rushing to buy last minute presents (!), organising and attending parties not to mention hosting, which let’s face it, can be really overwhelming mean Christmas can get significantly less cheery as the big day approaches. The intense and busy build up can be stressful and exhausted, leaving us depleted for days, even weeks afterwards.

Luckily a simple remedy is at hand to help you cope! With just a little self-care, you can rekindle that warm light in your heart to keep you lively and even get to enjoy a little bit of the magic, rather than just trying to create it for others all the time. Consciously choosing to take a little time for yourself to find quietness and breath, means that when you do have to return to functioning at high speed, it doesn’t feel quite as stressful as before.

This suggested restorative practice is super easy and simple and can be done in the comfort of your home, using every day props, like cushions, blankets and towels. You don’t even have to wear yoga clothes; your favourite old pyjamas will do just fine!

Enjoy these 3 extremely effective Restorative Yoga poses during the Christmas holidays and throughout the New Year, remembering that rest and self-care are an important aspect of the Yoga practice. If you only have 5 minutes, just practice one!

This is my gift to you, so I hope you’ll enjoy the peace it brings.
Love Elena x


*Click images to enlarge

Legs Up the Wall- Viparita Karani*

Viparita Karani Prep mary ann weeks aveda restorative yoga christmas poses Viparita Karani legs up the wall restorative yoga pose mary ann weeks aveda guildford relax destress at christmas


Benefits:
Relieves back pain, cooling for the mind, releases all body tensions, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and helps to drain the legs if you stand for a long period.

* This pose is not advisable if you are menstruating or if you are pregnant. A more suitable option is Child’s Pose.

Setting up the pose

You will need:
A yoga or soft rug or carpet;
A thick cushion;
Two or three blankets or soft towels;
A soft scarf

  • Place a blanket on the mat or carpet for extra padding and place a cushion close to the wall.
  • A second blanket or soft towel can be placed under your shoulders, neck and head.
  • Lie on your side, in a foetal position with your pelvis onto the cushion with your legs close to the wall. Roll onto your back and simultaneously slide your legs up the wall. Once in position the legs should feel weightless. If you feel uncomfortable, or tightness in your lower back or legs, move your position further away from the wall. Remember it is not about stretching, but relaxing and letting go. The neck and spine are elongated, the arms can be places alongside the body or wherever they feel comfortable, shedding tension in the shoulders.
  • Place a soft scarf on your eyes, or even around the head, and cover your legs or body with another blanket to keep warm.
  • Hold this pose for 5-7 minutes and focus on your breath. If you feel pins and needles in the legs and feet bend the knees for a moment and the return in position where you are ready to do so, or release the pose and return lying on your side.

Supported Child’s Pose- Balasana

Childs pose Balasana Prep restful relaxation studio mary ann weeks aveda guildford yoga restorative Balasana childs pose restorative yoga pose for christmas stress guildford mary ann weeks aveda


Benefits:
This pose relieves lower back pain, period pain, and also stress as it calms the mind. This pose is one of introversion, of curling up and reconnecting with feelings of support and release.

Setting up the pose

You will need:
A yoga or soft rug or carpet;
Two or three thick firm pillows;
Two blankets or soft towels;

  • Place a blanket on the mat or carpet to protect your knees.
  • If you have any knee pain, use more blankets to support the area, or roll a blanket and place it into the bend of the knee to create more space for the joint.
  • Stack the pillows on top each other, making sure they don’t sink too much.
  • Come to a kneeling position sitting on your heels with the pillows in between the legs, and gently as you exhale lie your chest down on your cushions. Your torso should be completely supported by the pillows and your thighs, and the tailbone dropping towards the heels. Let your head rest on one side and make sure you spend equal time on both sides. If your neck is sensitive just lie with your forehead on the pillows and the chin slightly tucked towards the chest. Keep the arms soft on either side of the stack of pillows, with the shoulders relaxed and the hands gently curled in. To relax more and feel cosier, place another blanket across your back. Rest for 5 to 7 minutes and let your breath gently sink you deeper into relaxation.

Relaxation Pose- Supported Savasana

Viparita Karani Prep mary ann weeks aveda restorative yoga christmas poses Savasana mary ann weeks aveda restorative yoga poses at christmas guildford


Benefits:
This pose helps to drain fluid from the legs, relaxes the whole body from tension and stress, quiets the mind.

Setting up the pose

You will need:
A yoga or soft rug or carpet;
A sofa or chair to rest your legs on;
Two blankets or soft towel;
A soft scarf;
A soft cushion;

  • Place a blanket on the mat or carpet for extra padding in front of a sofa or chair.
  • Lie down on your back with the back of your knee resting on the sofa or chair. If your legs are sliding off you need to raise the platform you are lying on with more blankets, for example. Support your shoulders, neck and head with a soft cushion. Let your arms be free by the side of the body with the palms gently curled in. Cover up with your favourite blanket and cover the eyes with a soft scarf. Scan the body for any tension and relax into the pose by breathing deeply through your chest and belly. Keep your mind focused on the rhythm of the breath to keep your experience in the present moment. Stay for 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy being in stillness.

Take a few moments to yourself and enjoy at home, or come to our studio on Guildford high street and enjoy a weekly 60 minute restorative class with Elena, every Thursday at 7.30 – 8.30pm.

Elena also teaches extended 90 minute monthly restorative yoga at the Mary Ann Weeks Aveda Wellbeing studio. These workshops come highly recommended and tend to sell out quickly, so be sure to book your mat soon and let go into fully healing and delightful bliss!

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