The thing I love about Halloween is the creativity it encourages. Pumpkin-carving, dressing up, making spooky cakes and biscuits and decorating the house with ghostly banners.
When I was growing up Halloween, trick-or-treating and all the sweet-eating it encouraged was very much viewed with suspicion in our lentil-eating household. I was never allowed to get involved in any way. Easter was the only time of year that I might get loads of sweet stuff to eat and even then I remember once (to my absolute horror) getting a carob Easter egg. If you’re wondering, it looks like chocolate and tastes vile.
Then one day I stayed a friend’s house whose mother let her go trick-or-treating. We donned black bin bags and witches’ hats and went around the neighbourhood with our buckets. We came back absolutely LADEN with goodies. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
When I had my children I was determined that they would enjoy the fun side of Halloween. The things I loved, as well as the immense sugar rush, was meeting local people, dressing up and heading out in the dark, and just shaking things up from the norm! So, in that spirit, here are five ways to make your yoga more spooky this Halloween.
1. How to ‘Halloween’ your Yoga!
Our yoga can sometimes do with a dose of Halloween-style fun and creativity! Are you stuck in a rut preparing for an assessment? Or dealing with an injury that you’re focusing on? It’s easy to lose that sense of daring and fun that you had when you first started getting into yoga.
For your Halloween yoga practice, choose a yoga sequence or style that you don’t usually do. So if you’re a rocket-fuelled power yoga practitioner, then why not try a quieter, restorative yoga practice? If you’ve been running over your assessment sequences, then put those aside for a few days and remember what it was that brought you to yoga in the first place.
2. Trick- or-Treat Yoga
What about mixing it up with a ‘trick-or-treat’ style yoga practice? What poses do you find tricky and avoid? Mix these in with poses that you know and love to sweeten the practice. One of the poses that many of us love to hate is parivrtta parsvakonasana (revolved side angle pose), or even hanumanasana (the splits).
Find out how you can take these poses back a step and work them into your regular practice to make sure that you don’t miss out the poses your body struggles with. It’s usually the case that it’s those poses we should do the most!
3. Fancy dress Yoga
There’s something very freeing about dressing up in spooky Halloween costumes. We can let our creative juices run wild as we turn into vampires, witches, ghouls, and Donald Trump…we let ourselves walk on the wild side! Why not try walking on the wild side with your yoga practice? Try a pose you’ve never done before – just for fun!
If you’re a yoga teacher you could even host a fancy dress yoga session. This would bring your students together, make them laugh and explore the fun side of yoga as they release some of their sense of self.
4. Spooky Family Yoga
If you’ve got kids, Halloween is a real family event. It’s also a perfect time to get into yoga as a family. Before taking them out trick or treating why not get them to do a family yoga session? They could do ‘zombie’ tree pose, with their arms out in front of them, half-moon pose, with an optional wolf howl to the moon, an upward-facing dog with werewolf growls, and not forgetting an extra-long corpse pose at the end…
5. Spirit-world Yoga
And talking of corpse pose (savasana) why not use this Halloween as an excuse to explore the quiet side of your yoga practice? Many of us with our busy lives tend to either skip savasana or do a quick one before we guiltily spring back into action.
This Halloween, do a twenty-minute savasana and give yourself the time and space to connect with the spirit world within, the vast universe of being that we share with all humanity – as well as the spirit world beyond… wooooooh….