Friday, 6 January 2017

Keeping warm with yoga

If, like me, you feel the cold, you'll be glad to know that yoga can help you stay warm.  The following sequence will get your blood flowing and give your metabolism a boost to help you stay warm.  Practice the sequence in the morning and the effects should last all day.
Start with some Ujjayi Breathing which is very warming for the respiratory passages - it is also when the respiratory passages get cold that viruses have a better chance of taking hold. 

To practice Ujjayi breathing first try breathing out through your mouth with a 'ha'.  Notice how this causes a tightening in your throat.  Then try tightening the throat in this way as you breathe out through your nose.  Now try to create that tightening as you breathe in as well as when you breathe out.  You should notice the breath makes a sound- some people say it is like a baby snoring, others say it is like the ocean which is why Ujjayi breathing is often referred to as Ocean breath.  If you can, continue to practice Ujjayi breathing throughout your asana practice.

Sun Salutation A - 5 rounds  Please see the 'Yoga Pose Gallery'-

Sun Salutation B - 3 rounds  Please see the 'Yoga Pose Gallery'-

You will need two blocks for the following yoga practice.

Child Pose - come towards the back of your mat and sit on your heels.  Bring your head to the mat and your hands round to your heels.  Allow your breath to settle.  If you do not like your head low stack your fists and rest your forehead on your fists.

Downward Facing Dog to Camel variation - when you are ready, stretch your hands forward, breathe in and come to all fours.  Breathe out lift into Downward Facing Dog, take 5 breaths. Breathe in and bring your right foot forward between your hands, breathe out drop your back knee, tuck your back toes. Breathe in raise your right arm, bring your left hand to the small of your back, your back heel or bring the top of the back foot to the mat and take your left hand to your back heel, depending on your flexibility.  Lift your chest.  To come out of the pose bring your hands back to the mat as you breathe out, step back to Downward Facing Dog. 

Repeat second side then take a Child's Pose.  When you are ready come to standing. 

Warrior 2 (works the legs strongly so that the leg muscles 'squeeze' the veins helping them return blood to the heart) - start by standing in the middle of your mat and take your feet wide.  Turn your right foot to the right and turn the toes of the back foot in 45 degrees.  Ladies should line up front heel to back, men front heel to back instep. Inhale stretch your arms out at shoulder height, exhale bend your front knee, turn to look down the fingers of your right hand.  Hold for a few breaths then breathe in straighten your front knee, breathe out turn your feet to face forward, bring your hands to your heart.

Wide Leg Standing Forward Bend (encourages blood flow to the upper body) - with your feet facing forward, bring your hands to your hips.  Breathe in lift your chest, breathe out hinge forward.  If you have high blood pressure or heart problems do not have your head lower than your heart-you can take your hands to a block or to a chair.  Otherwise release your hands to the mat, breathe out walk your hands back and lower your head down. Hold for 3 breaths in either position then breathe out take your hands to your hips, breathe in come up slowly. 

Repeat Warrior 2 second side and take another Wide Leg Standing Forward Bend.

Supported Shoulder Stand - come to lying on your mat with your knees bent.  Breathe in, press into your feet and lift your hips.  Place two blocks under your hips, long edge facing the short edge of the mat.  Bring the top block halfway towards you and raise your legs so that your toes come over your face.  The top block should tip to support your lower back.

Fish Pose - lie with your legs outstretched. Roll on to your right side placing your left arm under your body. Roll on to your left side placing your right arm under your body. This may be your pose. If you have no neck problems, you may bend your elbows and come to the top of your head. Do not turn your head while holding the pose. To come out of the pose tuck your chin and straighten your arms. Give yourself a hug.  


You might also like 'How yoga can help boost the circulation of blood and lymph

and on my 'sister' blog, 40plusandalliswell 'Love your circulation'


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