A yogi's guide to surviving the party season......

The holiday season is here and with it comes untold opportunity for fun, dancing and general indulgence.  Yaaay! We do love a good night out at Shanti Sundays but we're well aware of the negative effects of over indulgence and a night on the tiles. 

The key to staying on top of your wellness game is to be prepared!  We'd like to share some self care tips to get you through the party season and help you arrive at Christmas shining like a star and not a fallen angel.

1.  Hydrate....... Cold weather and central heating are super dehydrating on the system.  Add alcohol into the mix and you are twice as likely to wake up with a throbbing head and parched skin.  Make sure you are drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, with more on a night out.  Before you fall into bed, pop a good quality multivitamin and drink a pint of water (with a pinch of salt if you can tolerate).

2. Turmeric....is one of nature's greatest gifts and a powerful anti - inflammatory.  Alcohol causes inflammation in the body and as most illness starts with inflammation it makes sense to ramp up your intake during periods of indulgence.  We can't get enough of this wonder root and love to add it to food and drinks.   Try making a golden milk before bed (add in some coconut oil for an extra dose of healthy fats) or buy some good quality shots to boost your immunity and overall wellbeing,  Make sure you add a pinch of black pepper to help the body assimilate the the active ingredient curcumin.  During Winter we treat ourselves to a weekly dose of our favourite TONIC2 by London drinks brand BOTANIC LAB.  It's our go to tonic throughout Winter as the cold pressed turmeric root helps support the liver and system overall.

3. Move your body.....Whatever your exercise of choice, don't let it slide in favour of mince pies and mulled wine with your pals.  Getting a sweat on increases endorphins and helps rid the body of toxins. Reportedly group exercise increases endorphin levels even more so getting a move on with your pals will make you even happier! (Our favourite workout is FORM studios in Notting Hill).  By all means indulge all of your senses over the festive period but make sure you put the work in too!

Supported Supta Baddha Konasana

Supported Supta Baddha Konasana

4. Yoga....Yoga is our anchor in life, especially during busy times and times of stress.  We love getting a sweat on in a fitness class but yoga is so much more than physical exercise.  It's a holistic way of life that offers untold benefits for the body and the soul.  Taking time out when things are speeding up to overdrive is the very best thing you can do for yourself.  Bring awareness to the breath, as you do in yoga, automatically slows your breathing down which lowers the blood pressure and activates the relaxation response.  This is just one of the reasons it's great for anxiety and stress amongst other conditions.

5. Meditate....If you have a meditation practice, keep it up, even if your mind is more scattered than usual at this time of year (all the more reason to persevere).  It will help keep you grounded and calm throughout the busy period.

6. Rest.  Resting well is the key to balancing a busy, active lifestyle and is crucial to our long term wellbeing.   Enter restorative yoga, our go to practice year long although especially during Winter months.  Incorporating one or two restorative poses into your daily routine at home, on their own, or at the beginning or end of your existing yoga practice can help reduce stress, improve sleep and as a result improve your life.  Supported Supta Baddha Konasana (pictured) helps to oxygenate the system whilst bringing calm to the mind.  Supported forward folds such as wide legged forward fold are know to cool the body from excess heat, a side effect of alcohol and certain foods.  Restorative yoga takes the body from fight / flight to rest and digest mode and is known to encourage deep relaxation on par with a good nights sleep.  It's a magical practice we can all benefit from, especially for the sleep shy amongst us.

7. Have fun... There is nothing more beautiful than a happy soul. Laughter is the greatest medicine. Love & friendship the greatest gifts.  And a kiss under the mistletoe, well that's another story. 

Tracey Ellis