Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Mindful Christmas, Magical Christmas

Remember when you we little and Christmas was just the most magical time.  Everything about Christmas was wonderful because you were totally in the moment and enjoying every single moment.  I can remember my early Christmas preparations - the writing to Santa (with help from dad), the smell of almonds when mum was making marzipan (the smell of almonds still whisks me back to those days), the glass baubles, the tree lights, the 'chocolate umbrellas' on the tree, the honeycomb bells and garlands dad decorated the ceiling with and best of all Christmas morning when Santa had been. 

Then we grow up and the magic of Christmas gets lost in doing, doing and doing.  It's no surprise then that often after Christmas we say 'it was over so quick'.  So let's bring back the magic for us adults too.  The following sequence will quieten your mind so that you can open up to the magic of the Christmas season.

To start lie down, close your eyes and take a few minutes to let go of any thoughts and let your breath settle.

Shoulder Bridge - lie with your knees bent, arms by your sides.  Breathe in, lift your hips and support your hips with your hands, thumbs pointing out.  Hold and breathe for a few breaths then take your hands out to the sides and slowly release your spine down. Hug your knees in.  

Modified Side Plank - come to all fours and take your right shin out to the side.  Stretch your left leg out as you take your left arm up and over, lifting your chest up towards the ceiling.  Breathe out to release and come back to all fours.  Repeat second side.

Puppy pose - come back to all fours.  Keep your hips high and walk your hands forward bringing your forehead to the mat or cushion. To modify take your hands wider or interlace your fingers behind your head.  Melt your heart towards the mat.  To come out of the pose walk your hands back to all fours.

Extended Child's Pose - from all fours bring your bottom back to your heels and your forehead down to the mat or cushion, keeping your elbows lifted.

Downward Facing Dog - come back to all fours, breathe out and lift your hips.  

Crescent Moon variation - breathe in and bring your right foot forward, breathe out and bring your left knee to the mat, breathe in and lift your arms up and over.  To release bring your hands down to the mat as you breathe out and come back to Downward Facing Dog. Repeat second side then come back to an Extended Child's Pose.  When you are ready come to standing.

Warrior 1 variation with Lotus Mudra - from the top of your mat step your left foot back, turn out your left toes and level up your hips. Breathe out and bend your right knee. Take your hands into Lotus mudra with thumbs and little fingers touching and the other fingers spread and open.  Breathe in and take your hands up, give thanks to the universe for the magic of the Christmas season.  To come out of the pose exhale lower your hands to your hips.  

Reverse Warrior - to move into Reverse Warrior, breathe in raise your right arm as you take your left hand to your left leg. Breathe out, lower your raised hand and step to the top of the mat as you breathe in. Repeat second side. 

Legs up the wall -  sit by a wall with your knees bent and your right hip up against the wall. Swivel your hips so that your legs come up the wall.  Shuffle your bottom as close as you can to the wall and position your arms where is comfortable for you, either a little way from your body or overhead.  Close your eyes if you wish and spend 10-15 minutes in the pose if you can reflecting on all that is good about the season. To come out of the pose roll onto your right side and draw your knees towards your chest.  Spend a minute or so there to allow your blood pressure to normalise before coming up.  

And do you know what is the most magical thing of all about Christmas?  It is that God loved us so very much that he sent his only son to save us.  

You may also like 'Fun chocolate meditation'.

Have a magical Christmas season,

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