Meditation & Pranayama:
Begin this Winter’s day practice with 10-20 minutes of meditation. Find a comfortable, easy seat. You may prefer to sit on a bolster, on a chair or in Hero Pose. Take a few moments to scan your body for tension and alignment. Consciously relax your shoulders, neck and jaw and lengthen your spine by reaching the crown of your head towards the sky. There are many forms of meditation you can practice here (candle gazing, mantra, Chakra, breath). Since we are focusing on warming and re-energizing in this practice, focus on the 4th Chakra Anahata or the heart Chakra. With each inhalation focus on bringing light and love into your heart. On the exhalation allow that love to spread throughout your body and beyond.
After meditation we move to Pranayama exercises. Here we will practice breath retention. Breathe in deeply through your nose, filling your belly, lungs and chest with oxygen. At the top of the inhalation retain the breath and hold for a count of 5 seconds. Observe the feeling of buoyancy in your chest. Slowly exhale through your nose and repeat this cycle 5-10 times.
Yin Yoga is a slow, deep yoga practice where you hold passive asanas for 3-5 minutes at a time. This allows for deeper releases in the postures, connective tissues and joints. For more about Yin Yoga check out www.yinyoga.com. In this practice we will focus on the Yin poses that open the heart and surrender to self-reflection and self-love.
- Child’s Pose
- Dragonfly (Straddle)
- Sphinx or Seal (modified baby or full Cobra)
- Happy Baby
- Lying Twists
- Reclining Butterfly (prop your mid-back with a bolster)
In between asanas explore counter poses that feel right for your body.
After the deep Yin practice re-energize yourself with 3-5 rounds of Sun Salutations. There are many variations of salutations, do the version you choose or follow the diagram below.
After performing this Winter Yoga Sequence you will feel energized and ready for Spring.