We’re hurtling into the most chaotic time of year, with packed-out social calendars and deadlines on deadlines. To counteract all the parties and late nights, leaning into a consistent yoga and breath work practice can be powerful in helping unwind body and mind.
Meet leading yogi Cat Meffan, breath work practitioner extraordinaire & founder of the Soul Sanctuary. Below she’s sharing her festive stress tips to soothe the nervous system and ground down this winter.
Heat It Up In The Mornings
Evenings tend to be busier at this time of year, so make time for your practice in the morning or at lunchtime.
Start your day with an energising and dynamic practice to bring heat into your body and also cultivate a sense of that inner strength that we all need throughout hectic times.
But Don’t Forget To Slow It Down
Embrace the slower practices. In the Winter months, our bodies naturally want to go at a slower pace, sleeping for longer and winding down earlier. Add yin, sound healing, meditations and yoga Nidra into your quiet evenings.
Let the experts take the reins
Sign up to an online platform to take the pressure off needing to create your own practice. This is also a more affordable option instead of in-person classes, as this time of year is always more expensive for many of us. The Soul Sanctuary is about personal growth, not just yoga.
You can do a yoga class anywhere and via many apps, but I’m all about taking your yoga from the mat and out into the real world.
I encourage meditation and journaling, challenging yourself, therapy and sharing in the community— challenging yourself to discover the shadow sides of the self and start to understand it deeper. For just £14.99 a month (+ a 7-day free trial), you can gain access to 500+ classes for every mood your mind + body is in.
Take A Quick Breath
Quick pauses to take 5-10 deep nasal breaths are perfect to restore a bit of balance in your day and nervous system.
If you start to feel stressed or frantic, find a quiet space, put on some soothing music in your headphones if you have some to hand and take some slow breaths, inhaling and exhaling to the count of 5 or 6.
Move Anxious Energy
Shake it off with a bit of free movement if you need to release any caught-up tension/anxiety. Everyone is feeling the pressure at this time of year, so fuses tend to be a little shorter. Remember that you have the power to change how something affects you.
You can realise that someone else’s reaction has nothing to do with you, let it go and move on with sway in your step.