Wintertime is when temperatures dip outside and we bundle up to keep ourselves warm. Wouldn’t it be great to know that you can also turn to your yoga practice to create some natural heat? Here are three warming yoga poses you can do this winter!
3 Yoga Poses To Keep You Warm
1. Cat/Cow Pose
- Typical cat/cow pose is done at a nice slow pace, mindful of breath and movement being in sync with each other. If you have never performed this posture, here is how it’s done.
- Come onto your hands and knees.
- Line up your wrists under your shoulders so that your arms are perpendicular to the floor.
- Line up your knees under your hips so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor.
- Undulate your pelvis so you wave your spine.
- The shape you create is that of a cow with a sinking back, and a Halloween cat. Inhale for the cow shape and exhale for the cat shape.
- Try picking up the pace of your cat/cow. When this pose is done with more intensity, it’s literally lighting a fire under you!
The combination of breath and movement at a quicker pace will create some serious heat in your body.
2. Sun Salutations
They don’t have the word sun in them for no reason! When you practice sun salutations for at least 5 full minutes, you will begin to create some serious heat in your body. There are 2 kinds of commonly practiced sun salutations; Sun A and Sun B.
Sun A includes mountain pose, forward bend, plank position, low push up, upward facing dog (or baby cobra) and downward facing dog.
- Mountain pose, is literally standing tall like a mountain, feet can be together or hips width apart.
- To fold forward, inhale the arms overhead, and exhale folding at the hip crease. Then inhale and look forward and exhale transition to plank position (arms perpendicular to floor, torso parallel to floor).
- From plank, bend your elbows hugging them to your body, and lower so that your triceps are in line with your torso and you are creating a ninety-degree angle of your forearm and your upper arm.
- Press up to straight arms and come into upward facing dog or baby cobra with bent arms and legs resting on the floor. These both create a backbend shape; baby cobra is less intense.
- From there, press back to downward facing dog. Downward dog is a sixty- degree angle created by a fold at the hips where the torso and arms and the legs create the shape of a dog.
- Hold for 5 full breaths until you return to the front of your mat for a forward bend and then rise up to mountain pose again.
Sun B includes mountain pose, chair pose, forward bend, plank position, low push up, upward facing dog (or baby cobra), downward facing dog, and warrior 1. The two additional poses here are heat building in and of themselves.
- Chair pose comes in after mountain pose, and then the forward bend comes after. To come into chair you literally bend your knees as if you were coming to sit in a chair and you raise your arms alongside your ears, stretching your fingers to the sky.
- Warrior 1 comes after downward facing dog. It is repeated on both the right and left side. You will step the right foot forward first, and then pivot the back foot to a forty five-degree angle, with the torso facing forward raise the arms alongside the ears, keeping the front knee bent and the back leg straight.
- Lower back to plank and low push up, upward facing dog or baby cobra and downward facing dog, and then repeat on the left side.
- After completing both sides, hold downward facing dog for 5 breaths and then step or jump to the front of the mat and repeat chair pose.
- Rise to mountain to finish this flow.
The purpose of this sequence is to build heat in the body to prepare you for more challenging poses. 5 minutes of Sun A and Sun B are sure to give you some warmth!
3. Boat Pose
Boat pose uses your core (abdominal) muscles. This area, also known as the solar plexus is known for creating heat in the body. Think, taking the sun and putting it in your core. Poses that utilize our core strength activate the Manipura Chakra. This is the area that is symbolized by the color yellow, and is known for power.
When we do core strengthening poses we create heat in the whole body. Try these poses for a minimum of 15 minutes and you are sure to raise your internal temperature. You can’t do much to change what’s going on outside, but you sure can change the way you feel inside!