I’ll be out of state for most of December, assisting in a teacher training and visiting family. Despite years of yoga practice, I know it will be difficult to maintain my routine. Traveling, time changes, and holidays create obvious challenges to getting good sleep, healthy eating, and adequate exercise. For me, this is when the core teachings of yoga are essential.

We need to be strong, balanced and flexible in more than just our muscles. If we can ride the waves of life with some ease, then our practice is serving us. This means doing what you can and letting go of unrealistic expectations. Daily practice may become the one or two things, such as staying hydrated and taking a few relaxed breaths, that you really need to get through your day.

As you navigate the holidays and the challenges of shorter days, think about what small actions you can do to for yourself. Celebrate what you can do rather than lamenting what you cannot do. Be kind to yourself and those around you. It’s one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and others.

Some suggestions…

  • Choose two poses to focus on – one that you like and one that you find appropriately challenging.
  • Practice your balance “off the mat” – waiting in line, brushing your teeth, etc.
  • Go to yogajournal.com for short practice videos, pose instructions, or other inspirations.
  • Do a few sun salutes – modify as needed.
  • Spend some time outside – low light is better than no light!
  • Find a yoga buddy and practice together.
  • Spend a few minutes in a restorative pose – legs up the wall is a favorite!