What works in the warmer months does not always serve us well during the cold and dark of winter. To help combat these colder, darker days we need to adjust our practice so that we do not aggravate the kapha and vata doshas. When kapha or vata are triggered, the digestive fire plummets, Then we become more susceptible to colds, poor circulation, joint pains and negative emotions. We want to focus on poses that will open the chest, throat and sinuses while warming the body and boosting our emotions.
Asanas to get you warmed up and open:
Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations):
Try a few rounds of sun salutations in the mornings to build heat in the body and open up your chest. Just 10 minutes daily of exercise will boost your immune system and help balance your emotions.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose): Open your chest with this backbend. Do up to three sets.
Salabhasana (Locust pose): This “baby backbend” opens the chest while strengthening the back. Do up to three sets.
Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand): This supported inversion helps with stagnation of lymph. Do one time and hold for a minimum of 12 breaths.
Halasana (Plow Pose):Follow shoulder stand with plow to stimulate your thyroid, relieve stress and relieve fatigue. Hold for up to 5 minutes.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose): This supine backbend/inversion opens the throat and chest. Do up to three sets..
Follow this practice with a Pranayama session utilizing Breath of Fire, also know as kapalabhati breathing, This will build internal heat and eliminates mucus from the respiratory tract. These are rapid, sharp exhales, passive inhales, and a snapping of your lower abdomen. You can start with cycles of 30 breaths and gradually increase up to 100, for 3-5 rounds.
Libby Gore of In The Hills offers Private Yoga Sessions to work with you on personalized sequences to meet your exact yoga needs.