Light Your Inner Fire This Winter With These Five Yoga Poses
As the temperature drops, it gets harder and harder to want to leave your bed and hit your mat. Fuzzy pajamas are certainly more cuddly than a sports bra! If you enjoy practicing hot yoga, the winter may not affect your flow, but practicing at home or in a room-temperature studio during the winter may call for some heat-building poses and flows. Let’s light our inner fires and get the blood moving throughout our bodies this season!
Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
It won’t take long for this pose to warm you up! Start in a standing position, with your chest proud and bundhas locked in. Feet can be together or placed hip width apart. On an inhale, begin to bend your knees and push your butt back as if you were sitting in a chair. Lean back slightly; if you’re looking down, you should be able to see your toes. Tuck your tailbone slightly and keep your chest proud. Extend your arms skyward, but keep your shoulders down your back and away from your ears. Stay in this pose for five deep, calm breaths, and exhale into a standing position or uttanasana (forward fold).
Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
This balancing pose gives you a cozy feeling, but helps you break a sweat! Start in a standing position or utkatasana. Ground your left foot and lift your right. Bend your knees and wrap your right leg around your left once or twice. (Adjustment: set your toe on the ground behind your left leg as a little kickstand!) Extend your arms in front of you and wrap your left arm under your right until your palms touch. Push your forearms forward, lift your elbows to shoulder height, and work your shoulders down your back. (Adjustment: place your hands on opposite shoulders.) Maintain a singular focus in front of you. Breathe for five deep, calm breaths, and then switch sides.
Navasana (Boat Pose)
What’s wrong with getting bikini body ready in the winter? To prepare for everyone’s favorite asana, sit upright with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the mat. Engage your bundhas. Keep your chest upright and slightly lean back, extending your arms straight in front of you. Shoulders back! When you are halfway down to the mat, lift your feet. To start, keep your shins parallel to the mat and flex your feet; more advanced practitioners can straighten their legs and point their feet upward. Take five deep breaths. Slowly begin to lower down to the mat.
Plank, Forearm Plank, Dolphin Pose
If navasana doesn’t float your boat, you can fire up your abs with a good old-fashioned plank. Plank pose looks like the start of a push-up, with your body in one straight line. Push out through your hands and stay on the top of your toes. Engage your core and breathe for five, deep breaths.
If you’d like an extra challenge, lower down to your forearms.
If you’d like an extra extra challenge, lower down to your forearms and begin to lift your hips. Keep your legs straight and walk your feet toward your face. Relax your head and neck. This is Ardha Pincha Mayurasana (Dolphin Pose).
Simhasana (Lion Pose + Breath)
Let’s get a little silly! Start by sitting on your knees with your bum resting on your feet. Keep your chest proud and engage your bundhas. Place your palms down on your knees with your fingers spread wide. Take a deep breath in and adjust your gaze toward your anja chakra (third eye). On your exhale, begin to lean forward, open your mouth, and roar! Stick out your tongue! Use this exhale to let go of stress, tension, winter blues, etc.
Lion breath can be used during any pose, on your way to work, when your kids are stressing you out, or whenever you’re feeling a little bit chilly! Enjoy the winter months; remember to give yourself a warm hug and gratitude after you’ve practiced.