You might spend autumn looking forward to the holidays, but once they actually arrive, it's another story. You find yourself cramming five sweaters and 10 presents into a carry-on suitcase, traveling in cramped seats, dealing with hordes of family members, and drowning your stress and seasonal blues in sugar, fatty foods, and booze. The truth is, this time of year can be tough on your body and
If you’re looking for a quick, no-equipment-required (other than maybe a yoga mat, if you have one handy) way of easing the burden on both, a simple yoga sequence may be the answer. This brief and beginner-friendly series will make you feel length through your spine and hamstrings (helpful if you’ve been hunching over in close quarters). It can also help open up your chest, hips, and shoulders, which feels great, and helps you release stress. Plus, these moves can strengthen your entire body.
Start with a few simple Sun Salutations
or, if it’s easier, a quick jog or walk before getting into the sequence. The warmer your body is going into the poses, the more you’ll get out of the stretches. Afterward, try to rest in Savasana for three to five minutes to let everything sink in. Repeat as often as you need to get through the next two weeks in one piece.
Leslie Lewis is a yoga instructor in New York City.