12/15/2013 10:09 pm ET Updated Feb 14, 2014

Manage Holiday Stress With Yoga and Meditation

The holidays are upon us and for many of us bring stress, tension and fatigue. Expectations can run high and we often find ourselves with very little "ME" time. Practicing yoga and meditation may seem counter intuitive if you have a busy schedule but becomes necessary for mental and physical health.

Yoga and meditation provide a daily process of letting go (letting go of tension stored in the body / mind). Without this letting go process, we become candidates for ulcers, heart attacks, migraines and premature aging. All known to be caused by stress. Yoga and meditation allow us to discover and experience, how we hold emotions, thoughts and experiences in out bodies.

At the holidays this becomes even more important. Family triggers and expectations can set us off and bring emotions to the surface quickly. Yoga and mediation offer us the opportunity, to tune into different moods, feelings, attitudes, and states of consciousness beside the low-grade stress level that we often operate under. At the holidays we are especially bombarded by external stimuli. Meditation can help tune out the exterior world, and allow the participant to drop inside their bodies, and find a place of stillness. Practice deep breathing, extended stretching, and body scanning -- all done in a quiet, warm room, with soft music playing, or simply, the relaxing sound of your own deep breathing. You will access desired moods, and feelings through heightened self-awareness, while simultaneously decreasing negative states of anxiety. Excess of stress can also result in an extended period "flight or fight syndrome," which over time can drain the adrenal glands. Yoga and meditation will give you powerful awareness of how to positively influence health, reactions, feelings and response. These are tools you can use for the rest of your life.

Ease your holiday stress this year with some time out for you -- yoga brings greater relationship with others, life, and us. As we begin to explore these relationships more, we see which interactions genuinely support us in moving towards calmness. As we become more relaxed through yoga and meditation we can release addictive behaviors, which are often used to relieve stress. Especially at the holidays you may find yourself eating and drinking more. Yoga can help bring awareness to the emotional blocks that limit our experience of life. Yoga can give you a whole new set of patterns which are helpful in reducing holiday stress.