Yoga for the Winter Blahs

In the new year we often find ourselves reevaluating our place in life, searching for new perspectives, and setting new goals.  It's strange that we do this by the calendar year, because these coldest, darkest days can be the most difficult time to find motivation to do anything at all!

Amy put in a request over the holidays for energizing sequences to beat the post-holiay meal slump.  Here's a heat-building sequence with lots of twists to freshen your spirit as you warm your body up!  Twists are also great for those of us who tried to eat our weight in chocolate chip cookies over the holidays, as they help regulate digestion by giving all your organs a nice squeeze.

Yoga for the Winter Blahs

  • Start with at least three rounds of Sun Saluations (Classical or Version A)
  • Next round, Low Lunge Twist: Step the left foot back into a lunge and release the right knee to the floor.  Bring your hands to anjali mudra.  Inhale and get tall, exhale and twist to the right, catching your left arm to the outside of your right leg.  Five breaths like this: inhale and lengthen the spine, exhale and twist.  Inhale and lengthen to come back to neutral.  Take a vinyasa  (downdog, plank, chatturanga, cobra/updog, downdog), and repeat on the other side.
  • Sun Salutations, Version B, Two or three.
  • Utkatasana Twist  From uttanasana, bend your knees deeply, sitting back into a chair, getting as low as you can.  Scoop the tailbone under and lift the heart up.  Hands come to anjali mudra  Inhale lengthen the spine, exhale and twist to the right, catching your left arm to the outside of your right leg.  Keep squaring your hips forward.  Five breaths on each side.  You can do it!

You should be getting warm now!

Onward to some standing poses! (or skip ahead to seated if you prefer)

  • Uttitha Parsvakonasana(Extended Side Angle) to Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle)
  • Uttitha Trikonasana(Triangle) To Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon)
  • Parivrtta Trikonasana(Revolved Triangle) to Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon)
  • If you're an overachiever or if you just like a nice sweaty vinyasa practice, throw down some vinyasa between those standing poses.

Seated poses to finish

  • Janu Sirsasana Emphasize the twist before even thinking about folding!
  • Marichyasana III
  • Bring it on down a nice supine twist before savasana