How to Beat the Holiday Stress with Pilates

In the midst of the holiday season, we can get pulled in many directions. Errands to run, food to prepare and gifts to find…… days are shorter and nights are colder.How do you find time to take care of yourself? Now is the most important time to do this. If you are not centered and healthy, it’s that much harder to get through the winter.

By spending a few minutes each day taking care of you, everything will seem more manageable. You can do this by starting your day doing several stretches and exercises.

Shoulder Bridge:

Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your arms by your side. Make sure your feet and knees are hip sockets distance apart. Slowly lift your pelvis as you inhale and form a diagonal line from your knees to your shoulders. Then, exhale as you slowly articulate your vertebrae to the mat. 

Pilates 100:

Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Keep arms straight by your side off the mat about hip height. Lift your head, neck and top of shoulders off the mat. Bring your knees to a table-top position or straight out at a high diagonal. Start pumping your arms vigorously up and down as you inhale for a count of 5 and exhale for a count of 5.

Rolling like a Ball:

Come to seated and bend your knees so your feet are on the mat and close to your bottom. Place hands under your thighs and lift feet to find balance. Try to roll back to the tip of the shoulder blades and then roll right back up to the balance point. Keep your chin nodded to you don’t tip your head back and try to keep your feet close to your seat.

Leg Side Kick Series:

Below is a video of Cheryl doing the side kick series.

Movement heals!

Enjoy the outdoors by taking a walk. Admire the neighborhood, the weather and the thrill of being outside. Drink a cup of tea and wrap your hands around the warm mug. Read that book that’s been hanging out on the shelf….

Check in with your shoulders throughout the day. Raise them up to your ears and hold them. Then drop them down and feel the difference as they slide down your back.

Check in with your posture. Are you slouching or leaning to one side? These are signs of tension and overwhelm in your body. Plant your feet on the ground and focus on spreading your toes. Feel your weight centered in the middle of your feet. Imagine a string pulling your head up, bringing your body along to a perfect posture.

At night, take a few moments to stretch out those kinks that developed during the day. And most importantly… remember to Breathe…. It’s amazing what a deep inhale and exhale can do!!!

Sara Dorsch