The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
Join us for a 12-day journey embracing the holiday spirit through yoga poses! From December 13th to December 24th, each day will bring forth a different pose, aligning with the values of this joyous season.
Day 1: Tree Pose
Find your balance, rooted like a sturdy tree, embodying strength and stability. Lift one foot, placing it on the inner thigh or calf, arms reaching skyward like branches. Benefits: Improves balance, focus, and posture. Tree reminds create inner and outer balance by slowing down and grounding.
Day 2: Reindeer in Repose (Mermaid)
Embrace fluidity and grace as you sit on one hip, bending one knee while the other extends. Arch sideways, feeling a gentle stretch. Benefits: Stretches hips, thighs, and sides, fostering flexibility. This flexibility is wonderful when plans change or things don’t go as expected this holiday season.
Day 3: Lords a Leaping (Warrior 3)
Channel your inner warrior by balancing on one leg, extending the other leg behind, arms reaching forward. Engage your core and find strength. Benefits: Enhances balance, strengthens legs, and improves focus. This focus is lovely tool you can use to really listen to the people around you, noticing not just what they are saying but what is behind what they are saying, their facial expressions and body movements that can give you a deeper, more rich understanding of them.
Day 4: 8 pointed Snowflake (8 Angle Pose)
Start in sundial, seated with one leg strapped behind the shoulder like a bag strap, rock forward onto the palms, cross the bottom ankle over the top, rock into a chatarunga balance of the arms, and extend the legs out to the side. Astavakrasana strengthens the back, arms, and abdominals. 8 Angle pose is a great expression of playfulness and trying new things that may not be in our wheelhouse yet, but a fun challenge that shows us parts of ourself we don’t often challenge. The opportunity to be bold and brave and try something we might fail at and the comfort of knowing that’s a necessary part of the process of getting good at anything!
Day 5: Child’s Pose
Embrace rest and tranquility by kneeling, lowering your torso between your thighs, and resting your forehead on the mat. Benefits: Relaxes the spine, shoulders, and calms the mind. What a great reminder that rest is NECESSARY. Give your body a break from going, going, going. Maybe take a yin or restorative class, but whatever you do, take pleasure in slowing down and knowing that resting does not lessen worth in any way and actually increases the capability for productivity.
Day 6: Fireside Chat (Easy Seat)
Find peace in a comfortable seated position, spine tall, hands resting on your knees or in your lap. Take time to reflect and find gratitude. Benefits: Calms the mind, aids in introspection, and promotes mindfulness. Reflection is an essential part of growth, and taking 10-20 deep, slow breaths in this pose is a great way to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system and calm the mind in what can be a heightened and overstimulating month.
Day 7: Eggnog Overload (Savasana)
Surrender to complete relaxation, lying flat on your back, arms relaxed, palms facing up. Allow your body and mind to rejuvenate. Benefits: Reduces stress, promotes deep relaxation, and rejuvenates the body. Savasana is arguably the most important and most difficult yoga pose there is. The challenge of being completely still for 3-5 minutes can be overwhelming for an overly active mind, but your body needs this pose to seal in the benefits of the last 60-90 minutes of effort you put into your practice prior to it. Being able to still the mind is one of the most powerful tools you can attain, and with practice comes proficiency. All you have to do is show up and try.
Day 8: Santa’s Throne (Chair Pose)
Feel the burn in this pose resembling sitting in an imaginary chair, arms raised. Engage your core and thighs, building strength. Benefits: Strengthens legs, core, and stimulates the heart. Chair pose is connected to your Manipura chakra and your inner fire, Agni. This is a great pose for getting fired up and feeling strong and capable, like steeling yourself against all that holiday traffic. There’s nothing you can’t handle!
Day 9: Menorah on the Mantle (Standing Bow)
Find balance while standing, bending one knee, reaching for the foot with the opposite hand, and extending the other arm forward. Benefits: Improves balance, strengthens legs, and enhances focus. Another great way to bring balance to the body and mind by taking it slow and letting the breath be your guide. Remember to give yourself grace if you fall out of a balancing posture and get right back into it. Falling in a controlled environment and getting right back in it to correct is one of the most efficient ways to forge a new neuro pathway. Balance challenges are great for your brain! Who knew!
Day 10: Santa’s Sleigh (Bridge Pose)
Lift your hips off the ground, pressing feet and shoulders into the mat, forming a bridge. Open your heart and expand. Benefits: Stretches chest, neck, and spine, strengthens back, and rejuvenates tired legs. Squeeze an invisible block between your knees to keep the inner thighs engaged. Extra points if you want to add a full backbend after, hands by the ears fingers pointed toward the feet. Press down into hands and feet, lifting hips, then ribs, then heart. Straighten through arms and legs as much as your body will let you, hold for you 5 seconds and slowly lower back down. Do this 3x if you really want your back to thank you. This is great for reverse that online shopping back slouch.
Day 11: Give Thanks (Low Lunge)
Step into a lunge, front knee bent, back knee lowered. Feel the stretch in your hip flexors and heart open. Benefits: Stretches hips, thighs, and groin, increases flexibility, and strengthens legs. We hold so much emotion in our hips, all pent up with nowhere to go. This is a wonderful way to release anything you’ve been holding onto emotionally that doesn’t serve you this season.
Day 12: Wise Men’s Ride (Camel Pose)
Open your heart by kneeling, arching back, and reaching for your feet. Embrace vulnerability with courage and openness. Benefits: Stretches the front body, improves posture, and energizes. Another wonderful backbend to open the heart and allow for receiving love, gifts, and opportunities to pour in. A closed fist cannot receive, and it’s the same with your heart space. Keep it wide, lifted, and open so you are ready to receive.
Take any 12 classes at PLAY between December 12th and December 25th and get entered to win fun prizes! To be eligible for the raffle you must:
- Take 12 classes at PLAY between December 12th and December 25th
- Post a pic to social media before/after class with your Day of Yoga Pose
- Tag @peaceloveandyogawellness and use the hashtag #12daysofyoga
No Social Media? No Problem! A PLAY staff member will be happy to take and post your photo for you!
Let’s infuse the holiday spirit into our practice, nurturing our bodies and souls.
See you on the mat for 12 days of mindful movement and inner reflection!