Staying grounded

The festive season is all about joy and happiness and making memories with friends and family. Despite this, it can also be one of the most stressful times of year, and one can lose sight of what is important.

Penny believes you should give yourself the gift of time and do something just for you over the festive season

Sometimes you just need to take a minute to breathe – especially when you’re knee-deep in Christmas craziness and festive fun! North Coast Hatha and Tantric Yoga instructor, Penny Slein, shares some tips on how to stay grounded and ‘sane’ during the holidays.

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1) Don’t juggle too many baubles!
How? By not over-committing. You don’t have to be a Christmas superhero! Do what you can with what you have. Prioritize some time to fuel your own tank and remember its okay to say no, or delegate.

2) Remember the Christmas spirit
It’s not about having everything perfect, it is about giving, receiving and feeling a deep sense of gratitude within.

3) Listen to your body
Listen to when you need to hydrate and when you need to stop eating. You don’t have to over-eat to have a good time. Remove years of social conditioning that says it’s okay to put on unnecessary weight over the Christmas season – it’s not! It’s just clever marketing!

4) Have faith
That it will all turn out okay, even if the day is imperfectly perfect. It doesn’t matter whether you are on your own or with loved ones, the Christmas spirit can be felt by all if you sit quietly, allow yourself to come into the stillness and breathe in positive energy, love and gratitude. Take time to spoil yourself with something you truly value – even if it’s just a barefoot walk outside or a hot bath. Remember the simple pleasures.

5) Give yourself the gift of time
When you need a break, take one. Even if it means going into a separate room for five minutes and closing the door. Find a few minutes to close your eyes and breathe. Inhale for the count of four, exhale for the count of six. When you inhale soften your belly and pelvic floor to allow the breath to fully enter your body. Breathe mindfully, feeling the breath move into your lower ribs and then into your upper chest.

6) Be present
Your presence is the best gift you can give anyone. Stay grounded. Every time you catch yourself fretting remember to breathe and bring yourself back into the moment.

7) Do some yoga
You don’t have to wait until the new year to begin any sort of resolution – start now! The present is the only time you really have. If you don’t have time to get to a studio, find some clips online and take five or ten minutes to make a start.

About Penny Slein Yoga
Penny Slein from PSY yoga studio in Durban North teaches hatha and tantric yoga. She believes in exploring your existence and self-actualization through the body and mind and in the environment that you find yourself in. PSY yoga classes are fun, safe and practiced with intention and purpose. Penny says yoga helps to physically build strength and tone the body, correct posture and alignment and ease aches and pains. The meditative aspects sharpen your focus, help relieve stress and anxiety and increase mindfulness.
Details: 061 413 4000, [email protected], www.pennysleinyoga.com, [email protected]_yoga

Photographs: Stephen Rowley

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