Warm Up with These 8 Yoga Poses for Winter
Drinking hot cocoa by your fireplace isn’t the only way to get warm during the colder winter months. Shifting the contents of your yoga practice toward postures that heat and stimulate the fire within will keep your Agni strong. Agni, or digestive fire, isn’t just vital for digesting food and nutrients, but for keeping alive the fires of passion, discipline, and willpower.
Just as the fire element can transform energy from one of its forms to another, the fire within you processes events, experiences, and emotions, keeping the drive to live consciously and fully strong and forward-moving. The following asanas (hatha yoga postures) support this process by heating the body, stoking your digestive power, and strengthening your ability to focus and stay sharp.
Child’s Pose with Belly Compression
To bring more awareness to your belly and breath, try these two variations of Child’s Pose.
- First, slide your arms through and back between your knees, so your hands end up between your ankles.
- Place your forehead on the floor; tuck your chin slightly so you can breathe free and clear through your nose.
- Take a few deep breaths all the way down to your belly.
- Then, release your arms to the outside of your shins, moving into a classical form of the pose.
- You can cup your heels from the outside, or flip your wrists to cup them from the inside.
- Allow your belly to press down onto your thighs, so you have some effortless compression of your abdomen. If your head doesn’t quite touch the ground when doing the pose in this manner, slide a block underneath your forehead.
Sun Salutations with Ujjayi Breath
As you move through your Sun Salutations, bring your awareness to the breath and create a slight constriction in the back of the throat. Just a few rounds of Surya Namaskar with this Ujjayi breath will increase your body temperature, get your blood pumping, and stoke that flame. Each time you reach up to the sky, honor the sun above you and each time you bow in toward yourself, honor the sun within you in the solar plexus. Adding the visualization of the sun into the sequence will continue to bring up the heat.
Utkatasana (Fierce Pose)
If you only have time to do one pose to get your circulation moving and turn up the inner heat, Utkatasana is it. You’ll be amazed what five to 10 breaths in this pose will do for your inner fire.
- Bring your big toe mounds to touch with a slight space between your heels; this keeps your legs parallel to one another.
- Squeezing your knees toward one another, send your weight back and down, as if you were sitting into a chair.
- Extend your arms up alongside your ears or straight out ahead of you at shoulder-height if you have any shoulder restriction.
- Slightly …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra