Guest Post from Lindsey of Joy for Life blog

This guest blog post was provided through TeachStreet’s new Guest Blog Exchange Program.  The program helps excellent teachers of various subjects (including Yoga!) connect with great bloggers who share the same interests as they do.   If you’re interested in writing a post or hosting a post on your blog, feel free to contact Kenji Crosland at kenji [at] teachstreet dot com.

Holiday Helper

"I don't know exactly how it happens," my friend, a yoga teacher, said, "But when I go home for the holidays, I lose it. I lose the person I usually am when I'm not there. I get cranky, stressed, argumentative....what's the deal with that?" All I could do was nod. It happens to me too.

Yup, I do write a blog that features a lot of stay-calm tips, but in all honesty I'm not really sure what the deal is. A bunch of things might do it: We're in closer quarters than we're used to, with more people than we're used to; we're not getting the usual food that keeps us balanced; or we're not getting the same exercise that releases adrenaline. Or, we've eaten way too many of our dad's homemade almond cookies even though we know sugar makes us cranky, and reverted to the selves we know we can be around people who love us no matter what, even if we do sometimes resort to teenage-like bickering with our big sister. Not that I've ever done that, of course.

Home For The Holidays: 5 Yoga Tips For Keeping Your Cool

Aside from the usual admonitions: getting the R & R we need, eating well, lowering our expectations of getting our dream Thanksgiving...

1 Tap In

We can take five minutes in the morning to tap into that person we know we can be, through anything that works for us. Some suggestions:
  • asana (vinyasas work really well when short on time)
  • meditation with long, deep breathing
  • journaling

2 Pause and Check

Got a snarky reply on the tip of our tongues? A one-second pause to recognize that the source of our bad mood is likely coming from us and whatever leftovers we're hanging onto from the fight we had when we were 12--not them--is often enough to help us let that response go.

3 Reprogram

On the yoga mat we learn to meet physical stressors and challenges with peace and equanimity. Just remembering that we've done that can help us consciously tap into that when we meet stressors in the living room. "Oh, hiiiiiii, (smarmy and irritating goon) Uncle Ted!"

4 Release

And when it all just gets to be a bit too much? Head to the basement, shut the door, turn down the lights, and take Lions' Breath at least 10 times, while standing. Adding big, sweeping arm movements, reaching high then out and down, on each exhale, adds oooomph.

5 Escape

Do what an acquaintance of mine is doing this year: head to Mexico!

Lindsey Lewis is a lover of yoga, writing, and life. She’s a yoga teacher, plus a bunch of other fun things. Connect with her at her blog, Joy for Life

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