The streets have been cleared, the twinkle lights are down: the holidays are officially over. For some, it has been a marathon, for others a sprint. When January rolls around, I feel like it can be an amazing moment to decompress after the holidays, and just give thanks to everything and everyone around us, and thank ourselves, we did it!
What better way to do this than International Thank You Day.
January 11th is International Thank you Day. This celebration is the ideal opportunity to show your gratitude to people who make your days what they are. The origin of International Thank You Day is unclear. No one knows who established it and when.
For myself, thanks are obviously not just restricted to one day, and can (and should) be expressed all year round! A part of thanks that may not always be considered is by doing little things for ourselves to thank our minds and body for all that they do for us every day! Especially after the holiday season, when we have perhaps not treated our bodies that well (I refuse to divulge how many cookies and cakes have been consumed in my house these past weeks).
So to get you started, here are two techniques to help calm down, cleanse, and restart this January!
From hands and knees, take your gluts back over your heels and your hands out in front of you. Slowly fold your torso forward until your forehead rests on the mat.
Keep your big toes touching, and you can either have your knees together or separate whichever is more comfortable.
Arms are traditionally resting back alongside the body, palms up, but you can stack your hands and forearms and rest your head there if that’s preferable.
If your hips or butt aren’t touching the heels, no worries, you can place a cushion in between so you can let go and relax. Stay for at least 10 breaths and let go as much as you can with every exhale.
When we’re frazzled all the time, we tend to put a ton of pressure on the adrenal glands, which can lead us toward burnout. Child's Pose is one of the most soothing poses for the adrenals, so practising this pose regularly can be like a giant hug, bubble bath, and bowl of soup all in one package!
A lovely alternative is…
Extended Puppy Pose (who doesn't love anything that has to do with puppies!)
Come onto all fours, with your shoulders above your wrists and your hips above your knees. Walk your hands forward a few inches and curl your toes under.
As you exhale, move your buttocks halfway back toward your heels. Keep your arms active; don't let your elbows touch the ground.
Drop your forehead to the floor and let your neck relax. Keep a slight curve in your lower back. To feel a nice long stretch in your spine, press the hands down and stretch through the arms while pulling your hips back toward your heels.
Breathe feeling the spine lengthen in both directions. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, then release your buttocks down onto your heels.
You can hold this pose longer and protect your knees and lower back by placing a rolled-up blanket or bolster between your thighs and calves.
So I hope that you can give thanks to yourself and your loved ones, and have a great weekend!
Images thankfully taken from Yoga Journal