Exercises to calm Body and Mind over Christmas & New Year

These exercises aid the emotional and physical stress of the holiday season.
A time of deadlines, parties, alcohol and indulgence, exercise is often forgotten. Grab your yoga mat and give them a try.

Spine Twist. Done standing or sitting, this rotates and lengthens the spine, aiding detoxification by gently massaging the internal organs.
If you’ve overindulged in food and alcohol, or have been sitting for a long time, do this every 30 minutes.

Side Bend or Lateral Stretch. This lengthens and mobilises the spine, and promotes oxygen intake. Slide one arm out and reach the top arm over the head.
Done sitting or standing, this is beneficial for people sitting for long periods. Anyone without spinal or shoulder injuries can do this.

Cat Stretch. This releases back muscles and promotes spinal awareness, perfect after long periods of sitting. At a desk, push the chair away and do a standing cat stretch against the desk.
This strengthens the wrists and shoulders, improving digestion and circulation. It also strengthens core muscles: an alternative to traditional core strengthening exercises.

Side Lying Twists. This stretch will relieve mental stress, and pains in the lower back and hips. Lie on your back and bring your knees to the chest, before extending both arms
away from the shoulders. Exhale and lower both knees to the right side of the body while turning the head to the left and looking along the arm. Inhale, return the knees,
and repeat on the exhale to the other side. Suitable unless there are spinal or shoulder injuries.

Savasana. Aiding relaxation, breath in this pose will slow the body down. Breathe through the nose and feel the cool air entering and warm air leaving.
Count the length of each inhale and exhale: if one is longer than the other, make both the same length and add another count. It is best done for 10-15 minutes minimum.

Listen to Jill’s 10 minute Yoga Nidra relaxation at: www.bodyandbalance.com.au