Find your happy place this holiday season!

Learn a few tips to find peace and calm in your daily life,

 and stay balanced through the busy days ahead.

As we transition into autumn and move closer to the holiday season it becomes increasingly difficult to find quiet time for ourselves. Keep a yoga mat handy in a closet or chest and when you have a few minutes between activities, roll out your mat and do a few poses or breathing exercises. If you find practicing at home difficult, grab a friend and go to a class where distractions are removed and the time spent with your friend is rewarding as well! Get out in nature and take a walk in the woods, listen to birds, allow your vision to extend far to the horizon and take a few deep breaths. You can almost feel the tranquility wash over your body and mind when you take a little time to disconnect from your phone, computer and other responsibilities that we feel so drawn to rush through and complete.

For some, sitting meditation is a way to connect with stillness and to focus on qualities you would like more of in your life. This increasingly popular technique is now used in many hospitals and rehabilitation centers including our own Lehigh Valley Hospital. Sometimes called mindfulness meditation, the attention is gently brought back to the breath when the mind begins to wander to thoughts, feelings and emotions. The practitioner learns to sit with the present moment, becoming aware of reactions and emotions that arise and learning to accept them, without judgment, as part of the human experience. These techniques help relieve stress but also have other effects such as learning to relate to pain differently, a deeper more satisfying sleep and reduced blood pressure.

 While you prepare for bed, consider giving yourself a few extra minutes to lie in bed and become aware of your breathing. Take full deep breaths into your abdomen, hold the inhale for a moment, and then release a long slow exhalation. Be aware of the sensation of the breath entering the body, expanding the lungs and notice how far down in the body you can feel the breath. You may notice that you drift off to sleep easier than normal, and then if you awake during the night, use this technique again to take yourself back to Dreamland!

Connect the dots at Emmaus Yoga:

Introduction to Buddhist Meditation Workshop Nov. 8 Noon-2 pm.