We’re all entering into the deep and murky waters of a weeks-long, calorie-free-for all some people like to call “the holidays.”
I’ve been getting more emails than usual from clients worried that when it comes to the goodies that they deny themselves the rest of the year ( like pumpkin pie, buttery mashed potatoes and whatever that alien, yet oh-so-delicious white almond bark substance that gets poured and hardened over pretzels is), that they won’t be able to contain themselves. But they will be able to (barely) contain some of the most epic pig-outs of their lives. And with overeating comes consequences that we may not be as interested in engaging in.
How do we balance our cravings for those foods we don’t usually get with our dedication to our health and fitness? We go into this season with a few chowhound-blocking tools under our belts.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s utterly decadent and fantastic to fall asleep in a chair looking, or at least feeling, like Santa Claus because you’ve just eaten such a large, wonderful meal with family and friends. I’m certainly not telling you to deprive yourself by any means. Holidays are a time to let go a little.
However, if you’re one of those people who regularly (and quickly) gain between 5-10 seasonal pounds—or more—you could be putting your health at risk along with the obvious discomfort that comes from the additional bloating and digestive issues that comes with any fast dietary change.
Here’s a simple but super-effective yoga move that re-starts your digestion, amps up your metabolic fire, wrings out water weight and gets things below the belt moving again so those holiday calories don’t stick as stubbornly to your middle—or anywhere else.
To tone your belly, waist, back, arms, legs, rear, and hips, as well as stoke your internal furnace, do 1 minute of this pose on each side before a big meal, and then whenever you feel able to move again afterwards. You (and your curve-hugging wrap dress) will be glad you did.
Stand at the front of your mat with feet about hip-distance, or two fists-width apart. Step one foot straight back so you’re in a long stance, but still able to ground your whole back foot on the floor. The toes face slightly in, pointing the same direction as your back knee.
Bend your front knee, toes face forward. Your knee isn’t in front of your heel, but stacks over it, or stays back farther. Draw your low belly in and up, reach back, and interlace your hands behind you. Elbows can be bent or straight.
Inhale, lift your chest. Exhale, wave your torso either toward or inside your front thigh. Inhale, using your belly for support, come back up to the starting position. Do this wave for one minute, or until you need to come back to stand at the front of the mat and rest your legs. Then switch and do the other side.
That's it! Good luck...and Happy Holidays!
Do you have a yoga move you use to keep your systems in check? Let us know your favorite by leaving a comment below!