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December 7, 2018

Staying Warm & Feeling Healthy through Winter


My personal yoga practice, as well as those I create for classes are heavily influenced by the season. A few weeks ago in Friday morning class, one student mentioned that her shoulders were feeling very tight. She wondered what was causing it. We talked about a variety of possible reasons, such as stress, tight muscles, overuse, etc. Another person in class said he felt it was from the sudden cold weather, and then he drew his shoulders up to his ears to show the shrugging that we often do to stay warm. Of course! We agreed that the shift in weather could very well be the cause of such issues with the shoulders and other joints. 

This is something we might become accustomed to, tight shoulders in winter, stiff muscles or achy joints. It doesn't have to be that way. You can find ways to feel good all year round with a daily yoga practice. You certainy don't need to make it to the studio seven days a week. A 10-15 minute practice at home will keep your body warm and your muscles happy.  I've put something together to help get you started or add to your practice, if you already have one. Keep reading to find the sequence! 

Yours in Wellness,
Annelize Machado 


Image courtesy of rawpixel
 

A Yoga Sequence for Home Practice

If you're wondering where to start with a home practice, I hope this short sequence I've put together will help you. These are some of my favorite asanas for staying warm, strong and grounded through the winter. Thanks to the many yoga photos available on the internet, I didn't have to include my stick figures. I encourage you to make this practice your own by modifying or intensifying as you need.

As always, listen to your body, honor your intention and enjoy the practice.

Before you begin you'll need a mat, a blanket and a space to focus. 

1) Sit in easy-seated pose (Sukhasana) on a blanket and rotate your shoulders forward, five times. Repeat this rotation in the opposite direction. 



2) Stay in easy seated pose, bring the opposite leg in front.  Now open your arms wide, send your heart / chest forward and then round your back, dropping your chin towards your chest and give yourself a hug. Repeat this 3-5 times. 

3) Take Child's Pose  and deepen your inhalation and exhalation, stretch your arms forward and lengthen your spine. Hold for 5 Breaths. 




4) Come into Dolphin Pose, engage your abdominal muscles, open the shoulders and press down through your forearms. Move from Dolphin Pose into Forearm Plank. Repeat 3 - 5 times and rest. 

       

5) Take Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) on the right side.  Keep the legs active, spine lengthened and deepen your breath. Warm the entire body as you build heat from the core.  Hold 5 breaths and repeat on the left side. 



6) Return to Child's Pose and take the knees slightly wider this time, to open the hips. Feel grounded and warm as you rest here for 5 breaths. 



7) To end your practice, rest in Savasana with a rolled blanket or pillow under the knees. 


I would love to know how this worked for you! Share your questions or comments with us on Mind Body Yoga's Facebook page. 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS 

Winter Solstice Party at Mind Body Yoga

Sunday, December 23rd, 1:30 - 5:30pm

Yes, that's right, we're throwing a party! We want to celebrate the winter solstice, the holidays as well as our sweet community here at Mind Body Yoga. We'll have tea & treats to share; as well as a few short, informal classes. 

Check the schedule closer to Dec 23rd to see what we have planned. Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Winter Wellness, Family Yoga & Meditation, Mindful Art, and more...  Bring your family & friends, we can't wait to chill out with you! 

Shodaigyo Meditation with Mark Welch
(Chanting Meditation) 
Saturday, December 15th |1-2 PM 
Free & Open to All

 

Shodaigyo is the practice of chanting the Odaimoku (Sacred Title), Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.
 
Buddhist meditation is often thought of exclusively as a practice of silent sitting, but chanting is also a form of meditation.
 
The Shodaigyo practice of Nichiren Shu begins and ends with brief periods of silent meditation, with chanting the Odaimoku as the central practice.

Through chanting, we are able to cultivate our inherent Buddha Nature, realizing the enlightened qualities of compassion and wisdom in ourselves and others.

Food & Health 

Who doesn't love  pumpkin in this weather? If you don't, it's okay, we're here to help.
I found this recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Jamie Oliver. It's a pumpkin soup that sounds so fantastic. I imagine it would be great with a crusty baguette or homemade bread if you're amazing like that.


Here's the recipe!  
Enjoy & Happy eating.


Photo courtesy of Jamie Oliver's Website

 

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