At home here in the Norther Rivers, we all know that as the weather begins to heat up the festive season is just around the corner. That time of year when our lives become full of celebration, family, friends, food, drink and late night cheer. Often, normal routine is thrown to the winds as we rejoice in the longer days and each others company. We tend to indulge a little more then usual, try to fit in a little more then usual and often find ourselves travelling cross country to catchup with family.
With all this festivity and cheer it is easy find ourselves feeling a little out of whack as our body and mind try to keep up with what can be a frantic pace. So, what can we do in our practice to help support our systems when day to day activities may be a placing them under a greater strain then we realise.
First and foremost, the most important thing we can do is simply remember to practice. In the light of day, any time spent on your mat or in quiet reflection/meditation is going to be of benefit.
To aid the digestive system spending some time in Supta Virasana or Supta Baddha Konasana at the beginning of any asana practice can be of immense benefit, both of these poses can even be taken after eating. Many of the seated forward folding positions such as Janu Sirasana, Triang Mukhaikapda Paschimottanasana and Pascimottanasana can be invaluable in preventing sluggish digestion, while also settling a busy mind.
Including some standing poses and holding each for a period of time can help regain some connection to the earth, particularly if you have spent time travelling. Virabhadrasana I and II, Trikonasana, Tadasana, Vrkasana are just a few examples; try to hold each for at least 10 breaths if you can.
Semi-inversions such as Uttanasana, Ardho Muka Shavasana and Prasarita Padottonasana can all help to clear a scattered or foggy mind. Uttanasana in particular soothes the nervous system, which can become reactive when we are busy and out of routine.
If you can, try to make time for some restorative practice over the festive season; your nervous system will truly thank you for it. And remember to take some time in deep gratitude, we are so deeply blessed to live in such a bright and vibrant country.