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 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.
Partridge In A Pear Tree
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.
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.
Rock The Baby
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 slowly.
Nicola Jane Hobbs, MSc, is a RYT 200 certified yoga teacher and lifestyle coach. Her blog Naturally Nicola shares her love for whole food cooking, yoga, handstands and all things happy and healthy. She specializes in teaching yoga to athletes and to those with eating disorders, depression and other mental health challenges. Nicola's first book Yoga Gym will be available internationally from January 2016.