Hopes rising, mercury falling. That’s been 2020 so far hasn’t it? Even as we look to a decade of new opportunities, the winter marches on – cloaking our days with fog, gloomy clouds and blustery blizzards. Of course there’s always the option of curling up next to a warm fire with a hot drink, but offices and schools often get in the way of such fun. So how do you package some warmth and carry it along with you? You just look within, of course!
As with many other areas of life, Yoga has an asana for every need, and the longing to be as warm as oven-fresh cookie finds a solution in Yoga. Here are three poses that will help you crank up the internal thermostat – and you can try any of them according to the space available to you, when your stomach is fairly empty. Hold the pose for 30 seconds at least, to get the maximum benefit out of it. Three cycles of the pose should be enough to warm things up. Remember to keep your eyes closed through all of the poses!
Asana sequences in yoga usually start with standing poses, and this one kickstarts the heat as one of the starter poses when you start your routine. One of the best stretch poses, it ignites right in your stomach and lets the heat pour out towards your head before venturing towards your extremities.
- Stand with your legs planted apart, at shoulder distance.
- Lace your fingers behind your back.
- Turn your right leg outwards, angle your body to the right. Breathing in, lift your hands above your head.
- Exhaling bring them down in front of you, and bend forward till your head touches your right knee.
- Hold the pose for as long as comfortable. Inhale and come back upright, exhale and lower your arms.
- Repeat on the left side.
This wonderful stretch pose does several things are once, allowing the simultaneous compression of your vital organs and the stretching of your musculature to revive your energies and coax them into an upsurge that lasts well beyond the duration of the pose. The heat generated starts at the level of your breath and slowly permeates through your body as your ease into the pose.
- Start seated with your legs stretched out in front of you and your palms on both sides of your knees.
- Stretch your hands up above your head while inhaling. Exhale and stretch out over yourself to let your fingers touch your toes. If you can let you hands hold your feet, or cross your finger past your feet.
- Breathing shallow, exhale and ease your body onto your legs until your nose is touching your knees.
- Hold the pose as long as comfortable.
- When done, raise your body off your legs, bring your arms up above your head and relax into a sitting pose once more.
Naukasana or Navasana:
One of the more popular poses to strengthen your core, this compresses your vital organs, generating heat and sending a wave of warmth upwards from your chest towards your neck.
- Start off seated on a yoga mat on the floor.
- With your hands positioned lightly on the mat near your hips, inhale, lift your legs up, exhale and straighten your knees, so your legs are at a 45 degree angle to the floor.
- Lean slightly backwards, stretch your arms straight so they are parallel to each other and to the ground, with your wrists near your knees.
- Breathing normally, sit balanced on the triangle formed by your sitting bones and your tailbone.
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