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{Note from Jessica: Today’s post is shared by my good friend, Lauren, author of Lauren Fowler. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and yoga teacher who promotes a non-diet approach to nutrition and health. She wants everyone to connect to their bodies intuitive wisdom rather than following diets. She encourages the tools of intuitive eating and health at every size. Stop by LaurenFlower.co to read more about nutrition, intuitive eating, heart-based health, and yoga.}

I’ll be the first to admit that in the winter, you can often find me curled up on the couch watching Netflix with a cup of tea. Winters are cold here, so it’s harder to get motivated to move my body.

Yet, I fully know the benefits of moving my body – whether that’s rolling out my mat at home or heading to a yoga class. I get a sustainable energy boost, calm state of mind, and my immune system is supported, so I don’t get sick as often.

I want to share my practice with you so you can get motivated to move, too. You’ll strengthen and stretch your body to build heat in the cold, winter months. It’s a grounding practice to calm your mind, strengthen your body, and boost your energy.

Luckily, there’s little holding you back to doing these poses – no gym membership required! You can choose to practice one or all in the morning, evening, or whenever you need an energy boost.

If you’re new to yoga, practice each of these poses a few times to get used to them. Build up to holding each one for 5-10 breaths, then you can work towards linking them together.

Winter Yoga: A Warming, Grounding Sequence

Crescent Lunge with a Twist

Crescent lunge is a strengthening pose for the quads and gluteus muscles, and it stretches out the hips, which can end up tight from sitting all day. You can practice it with your knee up or knee down. I often start with my knee day to ease into my practice, then lift up my knee to strengthen and build heat in the body.

Once you get into crescent lunge with your arms up, bring your hands together in front of your heart. Lean forward, and twist your upper body towards your front knee. Hook your elbow on the outside of your knee, and twist. Be sure to keep your lower body the same to twist from your upper body.

Twists wring out your entire abdominal area to support digestion.

Warrior 2

Warrior 2 is a full-body pose that strengthens the legs and builds heat throughout the body. Line up your front heel to the back arch of your foot, and bend into your front knee. Keep your front knee in line with your ankle to be sure it isn’t collapsing inward. Lengthen up through the spine and stretch your arms in line with your shoulders and above your knee.

Breathe into the pose to feel expansive throughout the whole body. I always feel strong and confident in warrior 2 pose, and holding it for several breaths can get my body working and sweating after awhile.

Boat

Boat pose builds a strong core, and you’ll certainly start to feel the heat in your belly after a few breaths. It also strengthens the hip flexors.

Start with your hands behind your thighs and knees bent to a 90 degree angle. Lift your chest to keep your spine straight and supported. If you feel comfortable, move your hands off your thighs and extended out. You can also stretch your legs straight for a further challenge.

Movement comes from your core, so having a strong core helps support you in any exercise you do, as well as daily life and posture.

Bridge

Bridge pose is a backbend and backbends can be energizing. Lying on your back with your feet firmly planted on the ground and hands flat, just grazing your toes, lift your butt up towards the ground.

Engage your core and legs to lift up. If you’d like, wiggle your shoulders underneath you and clasp your hands together.

As you come down, rest with your knees bent for a moment to feel the rush of energy that comes with back-bending.

Reclining Twist

Now, it’s time to take it down to the ground and relax.

Pull your knees into your chest and give yourself a nice big hug! Let your knees fall to one side and extend your other arm out to ground your shoulders down. You can gently push on your knees to assist yourself.

If you’d like a deeper twist, pull one knee in and extend the other. Twist the knee across your chest to fall to the side and extend the other arm.

Savasana

Ah, arguably the best pose of all! Savasana is a resting pose at the end of class where you can spend a few minutes taking in all the physical effort of your practice and let yourself just relax.

Give yourself this time – it could be the only rest you get all day – to restore your mind and body.

I’d love to hear about your practice with these poses. Feel free to share your experience or any questions in the comments below!

Looking for More Yoga Goodness?

Jessica has some great articles here on this site about yoga, including a review of her friend’s Yoga for Healing Chronic Illness online course. Click here to read the review.

Yoga for Healing

Yoga-For-Healing-1

Yoga for Healing is a holistic practice that addresses the mind, body and the soul. It allows our bodies to build strength gently while working to heal our nervous system and mental space.

In short…with Yoga for Healing you will:

  • build strength
  • enhance joint movement
  • gain flexibility
  • relax
  • and, learn to modify and take things at your pace

 

Her program will be helpful to so many people who are struggling to heal their bodies and learn to be more present and in the now. It is perfect for you if:

  • You want to explore a more gentle style of yoga
  • You are recovering from an illness
  • You would love to have a down to earth yoga instructor that doesn’t take herself too seriously (I can be pretty silly!)
  • You are ready to take this next step toward your health and happiness

 

Included in the Yoga for Healing Package is:

7 Unique Videos: Each one has a different physical focus, exploration of a deeper aspect to healing and an intention setting introduction video.

A 25-Page Workbook (in PDF format), to guide you through practice on and off the mat, that includes:

  • Posture List and Modification Videos: Safety is very important to Tera! You have access to modification videos for various postures, and posture lists for all 7 practices that describes modifications and contraindications.
  • Focus Sheet: Each yoga practice has a focus sheet that outlines our physical and deeper focus, as well as the abundant benefits the practice will bring you.
  • Journal: Taking our yoga off our mat into everyday life is an important part of practice and journaling is a great tool for doing this.

Yoga-For-Healing-3

If you’re ready to learn more, just click on the image above, or click here.

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