The holiday season is a time for celebrating with the ones we love and for reflecting on the joys in life. However, many Americans dread the holiday season due to the nearly unavoidable barrage of errands, alcohol, and sweets. Finishing up projects at work, planning vacations, and spending time with the in-laws will probably take time away from your fitness regime, and you might find yourself significantly more stressed than usual. At Wilmington Yoga Center, we know that fitness is important to you, and we’re here to help you stay fit and mindful throughout the holiday season.
Yoga for Stress Reduction
Yoga classes use a combination of meditation, breathing exercises, and stretching to get your mind centered and focused on the present moment. Even in modest amounts, practicing mindfulness and focusing on the breath has been shown to reduce stress and improve well being.
Our bodies release cortisol, the hormone normally sent in response to dangerous or stressful situations, when we’re feeling frazzled. Think of cortisol as the body’s fight-or-flight hormone. It’s an invaluable resource when we’re actually in danger, but continuously elevated cortisol levels can be a disaster for your body. Elevated cortisol levels can lead to depression, high blood pressure, and many other serious health problems. Sugar, alcohol, and the general stress of the holiday season will all contribute to elevated cortisol levels.
Practicing yoga has been proven to reduce cortisol levels and to promote well-being. In a 2013 study of three groups (one group doing only yoga, one group doing a combination of yoga and an antidepressant, and one group doing only an antidepressant), the patients in both yoga groups experienced a larger reduction in cortisol than the patients in the antidepressant group. Read more about it on the NCBI website.
Whether you can count your time in the yoga studio as a cardio session will depend on the duration and intensity of the session, but stretching and taking the time to center yourself during the craziness of the holiday season will do you wonders. Be sure to check out our tips for runners if you plan on running to burn off those holiday indulgences.
Improve Your Flexibility with Yoga Training
Have you found your neck, shoulders, and midsection tensing up while thinking about everything you have to get done before the end of the year? Good news: our yoga teachers at Wilmington Yoga Center can help you with that, too. Practicing yoga is an excellent way to keep your muscles stretched and to relieve the tension you might be experiencing during the holidays. If you think you’ll never be flexible enough to do yoga, remember that everyone has to start somewhere; nobody is born an expert! Our expert teachers are here to help you, no matter where you’re starting.
Yoga for the New Year
We offer 30 days of unlimited yoga for $30 just for beginners. Don’t hesitate to call us if you want to use yoga to promote well-being and improve your fitness in 2018.
We’re also offering a Mindfulness + the Eightfold Path 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in 2018 that will be of interest to our more advanced practitioners.