5 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays
by Michelle Chua
1. Meditate every day. Meditation is a means of learning to befriend your mind, so that you have the freedom to choose the your perception of life's situations. It’s a practice of witnessing the fluctuations of your thoughts and sensations while grounding through discernment of what you choose to feed your focus. Through consistently studying your mind, you can become more conscious of your needs underneath push and pull of external stimuli. If you’re new to meditating, try sitting in silence for 5 minutes a day, and if you’re not new, invest a regularly allotted time period for it, perhaps first thing when you rise from bed before the mind becomes so active. Starting January 1, 2022, join us for Daily Yoga Habit, our new online series to help make physical yoga and meditation a daily self-care practice for 28 days! Learn 21 mind-body health benefits of daily yoga and meditation here.
2. Move your body daily at least 20 minutes per day, doing something you enjoy that challenges you playfully. Creating conscious healthy habits out of love is imperative. If you love to be in nature, hike, walk or run nearby trails 3-5 times a week. I enjoy the challenge of running up hills and the rewards of the higher perspective of the city and the fun feeling of soaring like a bird downhill. If you enjoy dancing, perhaps invest in taking samba, salsa and belly-dance classes on Zoom if you’re homebound during the pandemic, and you may also become part of a community of movers who inspire you to show up. Our yoga community meets several days a week on Zoom to practice all levels physical yoga, breath work and meditation, integrating valuable practices for keeping you healthy, feeling balanced and calming your mind. Consider joining us here and you'll also be part of a conscious community that cares about wellness and peace, surrounding yourself with positive influence.
3. Seek healthy delicious ways to re-create favorite holiday dishes and share them with loved ones. Be creative, resourceful and open-minded in revising your favorite meals and treats, as you can actually turn them into nutrient-dense fulfilling nourishment that satisfies your body and spirit without the need to overindulge. Paired with staying well-hydrated, feeding your body the nutrients it needs helps eliminate cravings for unhealthy comfort food, especially at late hours before bed. As you enthusiastically share your discoveries and their health benefits with friends and family, they may want to join you in the revolution to more life-enriching, rather than food-coma inducing, holiday feasts. Check out our blog post for delicious and healthy vegan holiday recipes here.
4. Fill your holiday gatherings with physically active interaction, with indulgent food out of easy access for mindless grazing. Have a designated time for a family meal, in which you eat mindfully and with gratitude. Consider putting the food away when it’s no longer meal time, so that you’re not tempted to stand around the dinner table and graze post-meal while chatting or out of boredom. Then make space to enjoy each other’s company through games, like charades, dancing and playing music, by taking a family walk outside or playing kickball or ping pong in the backyard. And when it’s not during the holiday meals, have your healthy snacks more conveniently in sight and easy to reach. Let indulgent treats be rare occasions that require extra effort to access.
5. Practice gratitude daily and remember your why. First thing in the morning when you awaken, begin with a reflection of what you are grateful for. As you lie in bed before a good night’s sleep, reflect on what you appreciated the most in your day. Gratitude is a ripple effect of attracting more of what you appreciate and helps you feel fulfilled so that you may be less drawn to try to satiate a feeling of lack through less healthy measures. As you identify what you’re grateful for you also affirm what’s important for you to notice. This brings light to your core values as they play out in the circumstances of your day. Thus, you keep close to your heart and mind what is most important to you, like perhaps feeling healthy, clarity, inner peace, confidently empowered or aligned with your source of well-being and what you love. As you focus on what you truly want in your life, you become less attracted to the obstacles, that is, delusions of happiness that may only bring momentary distraction from your true needs. You deepen your connection to your inner guidance, your source of inner wisdom. And if you're seeking more ways to practice gratitude, here's an article I wrote that was featured in LA Yoga Magazine, called Practical Ways to Infuse the Joy of Gratitude in Your Everyday Living.
I hope you find these reminders helpful! If you have specific yoga, meditation, mindfulness or other wellness resources you're seeking, send me an email and introduce yourself! I'd be happy to share what I can.
To your/our peace and wellness,
REviews of Root 2 Rise Yoga with Michelle chua:
Michelle truly lives out what she teaches. She is so much more than a yoga teacher - I learned this when I went on her exquisitely curated trip that she organized to Costa Rica this past June 2018...Hopefully like me, you'll be delighted by her effervescent love of movement, nature, and all people!
Michelle clearly stands out with her beautiful and bright energy. I love how her practice and teaching encompass body, mind and spirit. She not only teaches yoga but lives and exudes it.
Michelle not only teaches 'yoga', she embodies it fully with her heart and soul...
Michelle is by far one of the best instructors I've ever had, period. Patient, clear in her explanations and demos, and so encouraging...
My first yoga class was with Michelle years ago. You can have the best (yoga pose) sequence and not teach from your heart. With Michelle, I also feel her passion when I'm in her class. I can see she loves what she does, and she inspired me to want to teach yoga, too.
I'm so grateful to have met Michelle! Her kind energy opened up my interest in pursuing yoga and meditation. She is such an incredibly light and soul. She starts with grounding ourselves through mindfulness and breathing exercise. She brings the most authentic energy to the class by sharing the history and understanding behind poses, names, and techniques. I truly appreciate her work and impact on my well-being!
I’ve had dozens of instructors over the years, but Michelle is far and away the best yoga mentor I’ve ever practiced with. She epitomizes grace during these difficult times. Michelle has saved my sanity and my back while working from home, keeping me grounded with her sharing of yogic teachings and meditation techniques. Her repertoire of physical asanas is encyclopedic, and I’ve loved learning new poses and stretching my boundaries. Jump in, all. You’ve got this!
©2010 Root 2 Rise Yoga