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A Yoga Hack to Get You Through an Emotional Holiday

Upavistha Konasana Andrea Ferretti
The holidays are a mixed bag for most. They’re so often fraught with memory and expectation that it’s as though the frequency of our daily unconscious emotions get turned up to 11. We’re surrounded by messages that it’s “the most wonderful time of the year.” But if you’re nursing heartbreak or confused by your family dynamics or exhausted by your intense workplace, those messages can just amplify your loneliness and anxiety.

I have a little holiday “hack” I’ve used for years and it’s this: Do your yoga practice regularly throughout your holiday season with the idea of creating “good space” for yourself.

It was Richard Rosen who sparked this idea of creating good space through yoga practice. He introduced me to the translation of sukha as “good space” – su meaning good and kha meaning space.

Think of it this way: We have this yoga practice where we stretch, breathe, and move life force to the furthest corners of our body in order to create “good space” physically. You can take that physical space you’ve created and hold onto it. You can think of this space as an inner alter – a place within you that’s solid and sacred and totally at ease. I imagine my inner alter lives around my heart and expands with every conscious breath.

Your inner “good space” doesn’t get penetrated by petty conflicts, old grievances, by self-criticism or even by loneliness. It’s your “true Self,” if you will – it’s joyful, omniscient, and full of potential. When you create this space within yourself, you can remind yourself of it if you’re sad or when you’re faced with a difficult moment. Instead of snapping like a twig when your Uncle complains that there’s no cranberry sauce, you can access a part of you – even the teeniest, tiniest part – that’s still flexible and flowing like a big, willowy branch. You can breathe into it, feel it, and know that you can capably manage whatever you’re feeling or facing without losing your true Self.

Throughout the holiday season, revisit this good space often. On days when you can’t do a full asana practice or sit, revisit the space through your breath, or while you’re on the train, or while you’re doing the dishes. Because no matter what you’ve been through or where you’ve come from, you are alive right now and you’re allowed to feel happy, full, complete.

Here’s a sequence that Jason created to help you create your holiday “good space.” It mobilizes the hips and is perfect when you don’t have time for a full 60- or 90-minute practice. Stay for 5-10 breaths in each pose and do both sides before moving onto each pose in the sequence.



  1. Thank you Jason. Practicing with you on yoga glow and these pose charts have really helped me maintain a meaningful practice this year.


  2. Thank you, Jason and Andrea, for this spiritual pragmatism. I love the concept of su-kha, or good space, an inner alter for yourself. What a gift for the holidays (or my craziest grading weeks of the year!).
    Much love,

    1. Leslie…It really fills my heart to have you as a reader. Thank you! Your comments make my day. Big love, Andrea

  3. Dear Jason, thank you for all the effort you put into spreading the knowledge of yoga. You shine a light on many questions. Could you please advise on how to help feet that are troubled with bunions on the small toe side(outer foot). Tailor bunions are rarely adressed anywhere, and I would really appreciate some suggestions on how to work to heal this. Namaste.

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