Warming yoga poses for cold winter days.
Brrrr. Winter months are cold; there's no doubt about it! walk around town all bundled up and
huddled hudÂ·dleÂ Â
1. A densely packed group or crowd, as of people or animals.
2. Football A brief gathering of a team's players behind the line of scrimmage to receive instructions
for the next play.
Â over--our shoulders hunched hunchÂ Â
1. An intuitive feeling or a premonition: had a hunch that he would lose.
2. A hump.
3. A lump or chunk: "She . . .
Â up by our ears, arms crossed over our chest, and head looking down. These physical actions can
cause us to become emotionally depressed and physically constricted conÂ·strictÂ Â
v. conÂ·strictÂ·ed, conÂ·strictÂ·ing, conÂ·stricts
1. To make smaller or narrower by binding or squeezing.
2. To squeeze or compress.
. Other than move to the tropics tropics,Â also called tropical zone or torrid zone, all the land and
water of the earth situated between the Tropic of Cancer at lat. 23 1-2Â°N and the Tropic of
Capricorn at lat. 23 1-2Â°S. , what can we do? We can, for one thing, adjust our yoga practice to
include more warming and opening poses. We can, in addition, hold the poses for longer periods of
time and/or do more of them. If you are a new practitioner, I suggest that you practice the same
pose several times during a practice session until your body feels warmer and able to hold that same
pose for a longer duration. More experienced practitioners can hold an active pose for an extended
period of time to help the body warm up. You can move from one pose to another without much time
between them as well, as long as you are still mindful mindÂ·fulÂ Â
Attentive; heedful: always mindful of family responsibilities.Â See Synonyms at careful.
mind Â about your alignment. It's easy to get sloppy slopÂ·pyÂ Â
adj. slopÂ·piÂ·er, slopÂ·piÂ·est
1. Marked by a lack of neatness or order; untidy: a sloppy room.
Â if we move too fast--in life as well as on the mat!
As you practice the suggested poses (asanas asanas (Ã¤?Â·seÂ·nÃ¤s'),
n.pl in Ayurveda, exercises based on stretching, deep breathing, and concentration. ) you may feel
stretching and strengthening sensations in your muscles. That's great! However, you should not feel
discomfort in your neck, low back, or any of your joints. Muscular fatigue is common; occasional
muscular discomfort (not pain) is OK. Be mindful and compassionate with your body. Befriend
tr.v. beÂ·friendÂ·ed, beÂ·friendÂ·ing, beÂ·friends
To behave as a friend to.
to become a friend to
Verb 1. Â your body with yoga; don't punish it!
Try some of the following poses to see how they help increase your body beat. Here's a sample
sequence for you:
Mountain Pose It's a simple yet challenging pose. Stand up straight. Press into your heels, lift your
chest up and relax your shoulders as you stretch your arms (including your palms and fingers)
toward the floor. Do this pose between each of the following poses.
From Mountain Pose, lift your arms high up into the air and bend your knees to move into Powerful
Cow Face Arms Pose brings flexibility as well as warmth into your shoulders so do it next several
times without holding it for very long.
Now, invigorate inÂ·vigÂ·orÂ·ateÂ Â
tr.v. inÂ·vigÂ·orÂ·atÂ·ed, inÂ·vigÂ·orÂ·atÂ·ing, inÂ·vigÂ·orÂ·ates
To impart vigor, strength, or vitality to; animate: "A few whiffs of the raw, strong scent of phlox
invigorated her"Â Â the backs of the legs and the chest at the same time by moving into Intense Side
Stretch. Keep your hands on your hips, behind your back holding your elbows, or on a chair if you
can't (yet) bring your hands into Reverse Prayer Position.
Warrior I Pose opens up the fronts of the thighs and the upper chest as it strengthens your back.
Notice how the rear leg is in the same position here as in Intense Side Stretch.
Revolved Triangle Pose is next in this series of warming poses. The practice of this pose creates
mobility in the hip joint as well as in your spine. Still, the rear leg position is the same as Warrior I
and Intense Side Stretch.
At the end of your practice, lie on your back with your eyes closed for five to ten minutes. Place a
blanket or cushion under your knees if your low back is uncomfortable. Be certain to stay warm
here, too by covering up with another blanket if necessary.
MOUNTAIN POSE * Tadasana
1. Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides, palms by your outer legs.
2. Press into your heels, lift your chest and extend through your arms and fingers toward the floor.
3. Lift your thighs strongly (tighten them) as you balance your weight evenly between your two feet.
4. Breathe fully and deeply without strain or force.
Mountain Pose is the primary standing pose. Its home base, You can practice this pose anywhere--in
the grocery line, while talking with a friend, or anytime you are standing. The practice of this pose
lengthens your spine and tones your abdominal wall. It creates space for your organs which then
work more efficiently for enhanced overall health.
From Mountain Pose, extend your arms upward without changing anything else and you'll be in
Upward Arms Pose (Urdbva Hastasana) which lengthens your sides, back, and abdomen.
POWERFUL POSE * Utkatasana
1. Stand in Mountain Pose
2. Extend into Upward Arms Pose.
3. Without bending your elbows, bring your hands together compacting your outer arms reward, or
keep the hands apart.
4. Lift your abdomen in and up as you bend your legs at your ankles, knees, and hips, until your
thighs are eventually parallel to the floor. Practice!
5. Descend your inner thighs. Keep your heels on the floor.
6. Move your buttock butÂ·tock
1. Either of the two rounded prominences on the human torso that are posterior to the hips and
formed by the gluteal muscles and underlying structures.
2. buttocks The rear pelvic area of the human body. Â flesh toward the floor.
7. Lift your chest, using your upper back (never your lower back).
8. Straighten your legs and bring your arms down to return to Mountain Pose.
Benefits & Cautions This pose tones and strengthens the back and abdomen to create space in the
side ribs and chest, leading to freer breathing, and lengthens the gluteus gluÂ·teÂ·us
n. pl. gluÂ·teÂ·i
Any of the three large muscles of each buttock, especially the gluteus maximus, that extend, abduct,
and rotate the thigh. Â muscles. Don't practice it if you're pregnant, menstruating
intr.v. menÂ·struÂ·atÂ·ed, menÂ·struÂ·atÂ·ing, menÂ·struÂ·ates
To undergo menstruation.
[Late Latin m , or have a heart condition.
COW FACE POSE--ARMS * Gomukhasana Details & Variations
Cow Face Pose Arms can be practiced in Mountain Pose, or in a sitting position such as Hero Pose.
1. Cow Face Pose Arms prep--upper arm. Sit on a block. Extend your right arm forward and take it
up toward the ceiling. Roll the outer arm forward and the inner arm backward. Turn your palm to
face the back of your body. Maintaining the extension, bend your right elbow and take the palm
down your back. Hold your right elbow with your left hand and draw your right arm toward your
right ear as you extend from the armpit armÂ·pit
The hollow under the upper part of the arm below the shoulder joint, bounded by the pectoralis
major, the latissimus dorsi, the anterior serratus muscles, and the humerus, and containing the
axillary artery and vein, the infraclavicular part Â to the elbow. Inhale inÂ·hale
1. To breathe in; inspire.
2. To draw something such as smoke or a medicinal mist into the lungs by breathing; inspire. Â and
exhale exhaleÂ /exÂ·hale/ (eksÂ´hal) to breathe out.
1. To breathe out.
2. To emit a gas, vapor, or odor. Â softly. Release and bring both arms back into a neutral position.
Repeat with your left arm as the upper arm.
2. Cow Face Pose Arms prep--lower arm. Sit on a block. Take your left arm behind your back at the
sacrum sacrum:Â see spinal column. , with the palm facing outward. Move your outer left shoulder
back and your left shoulder blade shoulder blade
See scapula. Â into your back by pressing your left hand into your sacrum. With your right hand,
kindly and compassionately grasp your left wrist and move your left hand across your back. (Never,
ever force any part of your body into any pose.) Continue drawing your outer upper left arm back as
you bring your left armpit chest forward. Release the grip and bring both arms back into a neutral
position. Repeat with your right arm as the lower arm.
3. Use a strap. Place it between the upper and lower hands.
INTENSE SIDE STRETCH * Parsvottanasana
1. Stand in Mountain Pose and place your palms together behind your back, fingers pointing
downward Turn the fingers toward your back, then bring your hands up between your shoulder
blades into reverse prayer position (see inset photo).
2. Separate your feet three to three and a half feet apart. and turn your left toot in 75 degrees and
your right foot and leg out ninety degrees.
3. Turn your entire body to face toward your right foot. Line up your heels as you lift and firm both
4. Extend through your left calf and into that heel as you bring your left side ribs forward.
5. Press into the right big toe big toe
The largest and innermost toe of the human foot. Â mount and pull your right hip back, pulling
inward with the entire outer leg.
6. Lift and broaden your chest, elongate eÂ·lonÂ·gateÂ Â
tr. & intr.v. eÂ·lonÂ·gatÂ·ed, eÂ·lonÂ·gatÂ·ing, eÂ·lonÂ·gates
To make or grow longer.
adj. or elongated
1. Made longer; extended.
2. Having more length than width; slender. Â your neck, and lift your head to look up. If there is
discomfort in your neck, simply continue to look forward. Inhale.
7. On an exhalation exhalationÂ /exÂ·haÂ·laÂ·tion/ (eks?hah-laÂ´shun)
1. the giving off of watery or other vapor.
2. a vapor or other substance exhaled or given off.
3. the act of breathing out. , bring your head back to a neutral position, keep the lift of your chest,
and extend out over your right leg.
8. Release your neck and place your head on your shin.
9. To come out, inhale as you lift your sternum sternum:Â see rib. Â and torso torsoÂ /torÂ·so/
(torÂ´so) trunk (1).
n. pl. torÂ·sos or torÂ·si
The human body excluding the head and limbs; trunk. Â up and descend your buttocks
buttocksÂ /butÂ·tocks/ (butÂ´oks) the two fleshy prominences formed by the gluteal muscles on the
lower part of the back. . Lift your chest and head as you did earlier, exhale, and return to Mountain
10. Repeat on the left side.
Benefits. What doesn't this pose do? It relieves stiffness in the shoulders, back, and hips. As the
chest expands, the upper back is toned, reducing curvatures of the spine. Breathing becomes easier,
and anxiety may be reduced. It massages the abdominal organs, which in turn improves digestion
and elimination. Practicing this pose helps ready the body for Headstand.
WARRIOR I. Virabhadrasana I
1. Stand in Mountain Pose.
2. Separate your feet four to four and a half feet apart, and stretch your arms out to the sides to
broaden your chest.
3. Extend your arms overhead with your palms facing each other.
4. Turn your left foot and leg out ninety degrees.
5. Turn your right foot and leg in sixty degrees and line up your heels.
6. Turn your entire body to face your left leg.
7. As you press back into your right leg and heel, bend your left leg until the thigh is parallel to the
floor, knee directly over your heel.
8. Roll your right thigh inward, and bring your right hip and side ribs forward.
9. Strongly lift your chest and side ribs up. Extend your neck and, only if you have no tension in your
neck, look up.
10. To come out, straighten your left leg, bring your head back to neutral, and turn your feet and
legs Feet and Legs
See also anatomy; body, human; walking.
any invertebrate of the phylum that includes insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and myriapods with
jointed legs. Â to the right.
11. Bring your feet and arms back into Mountain Pose.
12. Repeat on the right side.
Benefits & Cautions. This version of Warrior pose (there are three) creates mobility in the legs, hips,
shoulders, and back, and it tones the leg muscles. Like all of the Warrior poses, it promotes
willpower. Practice this pose for a shorter amount of time and keep your hands On your hips if
you're hypertensive hypertensiveÂ /hyÂ·perÂ·tenÂ·sive/ (-tenÂ´siv)
1. characterized by increased tension or pressure.
2. an agent that causes hypertension.
3. a person with hypertension. Â or pregnant.
REVOLVED TRIANGLE POSE * Parivrtta Trikonasana Details & Variations
Press firmly into the root of your front big toe and pull the outer hip up and back. Draw your outer
front calf. thigh, and hip inward. Maintain the stability of your outer front leg as you pull your lower
shoulder blade deep into your back to open your front chest. Your breathing may be shallow.
Creating space between your pelvis pelvis,Â bony, basin-shaped structure that supports the organs
of the lower abdomen. It receives the weight of the upper body and distributes it to the legs; it also
forms the base for numerous muscle attachments. Â and chest allows your torso to turn more easily.
Create space first by pressing your hips back and pulling your sternum forward.
1. Place a block or chair under your hand to create more space in your spine (with or without the
wall. hand on inside or outside of foot).
2. Place your hand to the inside of your front foot if turning or balancing is challenging. With
practice, you'll eventually take your hand to the outer side of the foot.
3. Use a wall and block. Stand with your left side touching the wall. Step forward three and a half
feet with your right foot.
4. Turn toward the center of the room and extend your arms outward in line with your shoulders.
Press into the four corners of both feet.
5. Keeping your back against the wall, take your left hand down to the floor (or a block) between
your right foot and the wall.
6. To come out, extend through your right arm and lift up
7. Turn around and do the left side.
Reprinted with permission of Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., NY, NY, from Yoga Your Way: Customize
Your Home Practice by Cindy Dollar and Susanna MacKenzie Euston, Copyright 2004 Cindy Dollar
and Susanna MacKenzie Euston, published by Lark Books, a Division of Sterling Publishing
A long-time yoga instructor and practitioner, Cindy lives in Asheville with her loving husband, 2
energetic dogs, and 2 lazy cats. She recently opened One Center Yoga at 120 Coxe Avenue. When
not on the yoga mat, Cindy enjoys being out of doors in the sunshine.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Natural Arts
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