The Winter Solstice marks the first day of Winter in the northern hemisphere and notes when the Sun is farthest south. It is a time when many feel the darkness of the days in their moods and energy levels as well as feel the strain of holiday stressors. To bring light and warmth back into your being, spend time with those you love, enjoy warm foods and stay physically active. There is a lesson in self-preservation, preparing for the coming Spring and persevering through challenging and stressful times. With the coming New Year it is also a time to look within, build inner strength and renew.
This year the Winter Solstice is marked on Saturday December 21st. Below is a yoga sequence focused on the return to brighter days ahead. Let’s welcome back the return of the sun by focusing on the Manipura, solar plexus, chakra (represented by the sun).
Winter Solstice Yoga Sequence:
- Begin lying down on your back, feet flat on the floor hips distance apart. Knees are bent & facing the sky. Place your hands over your solar plexus chakra (just below your rib cage).
- Close your eyes & imagine the sun under where you’ve placed your hands. Feel the warmth, glow, healing, energy radiate from that point of focus throughout your entire body. Stay here & breathe slowly in & out through your nose. Allow the rays of energy be the light that pushes away any clouds in your subtle & energetic body. Release any energy that no longer serves you.
- Release your hands & draw your knees into your chest. Hug your knees in close to your body as you gently rock side to side. Open your arms into a wide T-shape on the floor & drop both knees over to one side (then repeat to other side) for a cleansing supine twist.
- Again, hug your knees into your chest & begin to rock forward & back until you come to a seated position. Transition onto all fours.
- Focusing on your solar plexus region begin flexing & extending the spine in cat & cow movements. Feel the spine supple with each breath.
- Stretch out into plank position (can also be done on forearms). Feel the surge of energy & warmth through your core. Pike your hips up & back into downward facing dog (or dolphin pose if your are on your forearms).
- Lower your knees to the mat & sink your hips back into child’s pose. Pause here for a moment. Breathe in fully feelings of clarity, self-confidence & the courage to do what you think is right.
- Transition to lying prone (on your stomach) on the mat. Clasp your hands together behind your back (or grab a hold of a towel or strap). Think of reaching your legs & arms toward the wall behind you & then upwards into locust pose. Neck remains long & a natural extension of the spine.
- Press up through all fours & melt back into balasana (child’s pose). Pause here for 5 rounds of breath.
- Final pose – supported reclined butterfly pose. Utilize pillows to prop your head & upper back up. Draw the souks of your feet together as your knees splay open. Your solar plexus shines within & outwards.