15-Minute Warming Yoga Sequence for Winter
By Jen Stiff
Cold weather and less sunlight tend to draw you inward, both physically and emotionally. You may find yourself spending more time indoors, not moving your body as much as you do during warmer, sunnier months. While all this downtime can be a wonderful opportunity for introspection and rest, it can also leave you more susceptible to lethargy, restlessness, and maybe even the winter blues—all signs that your body needs to get up and moving.
One effective way to get some blood pumping through the body is to practice an energizing yoga sequence. You can practice this sequence any time but it’s an especially uplifting way to rise in the morning and shine the whole day through.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Although this is a resting pose, you’ll initiate an Ujjayi breath here to build heat from the inside out and prepare the body for movement.
- Bring your big toes to touch with your knees hips-width distance apart, and release your hips back toward your heels, nestling your torso between your thighs.
- Walk your fingertips forward, press your palms into the earth, and lift your elbows off the mat.
- Allow your forehead to melt into the earth and breathe deeply in and out of your nose for five cycles.
- Initiate an Ujjayi breath by keeping your mouth closed and jaw and lips soft. Gently constrict the back of your throat, creating some resistance to the passage of air, as you continue breathing in and out of your nose.
- Take 10 cycles of Ujjayi breath in Balasana, and continue breathing in this way through the duration of this sequence.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This pose is a perfect way to work a lot of muscles all at once. Holding here activates the muscles in your shoulders, arms, core, and legs, which should all be engaged.
- From Child’s Pose, press yourself up to a hands and knees position, walk your hands a few inches forward, tuck your toes, and lift your hips high, bringing your body into an upside down “V” shape.
- Melt your heart back toward your thighs while drawing your lower ribs together.
- Keep your spine long; your knees can bend, and your heels don’t need to touch the floor.
- Hold for 10 breaths.
Plank Pose (Phalakasana)
Holding this pose requires strength and endurance. It’s one of the best core-toning asanas, and it also works the glutes and hamstrings.
- From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, roll forward to a push-up position.
- Bring your shoulder blades onto your back, activate your core, and firm up your legs.
- Allow your inner thighs to spiral up toward the ceiling, and keep the back of your neck long.
- Hold here for five deep breaths.