16 Yoga Poses For A Happy Holiday Season
December 20, 2013 — 10:00 AM
Whether you're a yoga teacher looking to bring a bit of Christmas sparkle to your classes, a parent who wants a fun way to keep the kids active over the holiday season, a yogi who wants to inject a bit of festive spirit into your practice, or anyone just interested in seeing what kind of Christmas-y shapes they can pull with their body, then these poses are a great place to start.
Whether it’s flexibility, core strength, or balance, each pose provides a different challenge, so approach them all with a playful attitude and use your imagination to see if you can create any other festive poses.
Put on some Christmas music, don your homemade Christmas Yoga Top and have fun!
Begin standing with your feet together and come up onto your toes. Slowly lower yourself down into a squat, squeezing your buttocks to open your hips as wide as you can. Lift your arms above your head and join your palms. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Bend your right leg behind you and take hold of the outside edge of your right foot of ankle with your right hand. Gradually press your foot into your hand, extending your spine and reaching your left hand to the sky. Hold for 5-10 breaths, release your leg and repeat on the other side.
Begin on all fours, bring your forearms to the floor and straighten your legs. Raise one leg at a time so that you're balancing on your forearms, and then bend one leg forward and one back so they look like reindeer horns. Hold for 5-10 breaths, release slowly and repeat with your legs the other way around.
Begin in a high plank position and lift your right arm and right leg. Keep your hips lifted and buttocks squeezed. Hold for 5-10 breaths, release back to plank and repeat on the other side.
Bring your right foot up to rest on your inner left thigh. Bring your right arms across your chest to left side, interlock your thumbs, and spread your fingertips to make a bird shape. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Start in a crouched position with your forearms on the ground in front of you. Snuggle your knees into your armpits, engage your core, and lift your toes off the floor. Balance here for 5-10 breaths and lower yourself back down to the ground.
Stand with your feet together, hands raised about your head in prayer
position and fold to the right. Aim to keep your elbows glued to your
ears and shoulders relaxed. Hold for 5-10 breaths, come back to center
on an inhale and repeat on the left.
Begin lying on your back and bring your toes up and over your head and
your hands to your lower back. See if you can touch your toes on the
floor, or if not, just keep your legs parallel to the ground. Try
releasing your arms to the mat, keeping most of the weight in your
shoulders. Hold for up to 3 minutes, return your hands to your back and
slowly lower yourself to the ground.
Begin in Snow Plow pose and bend your knees to rest on your forehead with your toes pointed to the sky. Slowly wrap your arms around your legs, keeping your weight in your shoulders. Hold for up to 3 minutes, bring your hands to your lower back and roll back down to the ground.
Come onto all fours, aligning your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Lift your left foot to the sky so your thigh is parallel to the ground, and raise your right arm straight out in front of you. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Begin seated cross legged and lift your right leg, hooking your right arms underneath your chin and taking hold of the foot with your left hand. Gently rock your shin from side to side 5-10 times, release your leg and repeat on the other side.
Begin kneeling with your knees about hip distance apart and bring your hands to your lower back, fingertips pointing downward. Keeping your hips over your knees, lean back and reach for your heels. Allow you head to hang back and hold for 5-10 breaths. Return your hands to your lower back and come back to kneeling on an inhalation.
Starting standing, lift your left leg out behind you and lean forward,
bringing your right hand to the floor. Bend the left leg, reach back with
your left hand to take hold of the foot, and press your left foot into
your hand. Hold for 5-10 breaths, release, and repeat on the other side.
Stand with your feet together and come up onto the tips of your toes. Bend your elbows and snuggle the backs of your hands under your armpits. Hold for 10 breaths and release.
Join your palms behind your back, letting your shoulders roll forward if need be. If you can’t quite reach, bring the backs of your hands together or take hold of your wrists, drawing your shoulder blades toward the midline. Hold for 10 breaths.
Begin on your belly, either with your hands underneath you or in line
with your chest. Take a couple of deep inhalations, and on the third
inhalation lift your legs into the air as high as you can, using the
strength of your buttocks and core. Hold for 5-10 breath and lower down