A Gentle Yoga Routine for Winter
When winters chill has reached into our bones it's hard to be motivated to move and do yoga, but those cold dark days are exactly when our bodies could most use the refreshment that a steady yoga practice can bring. Personally though, I don't want strenuous practices during the winter, instead I long to stay in touch with the quiteness of the season and opt for gentle yoga routines. The following yoga routine is just that - slow, gentle, and in tune with the winter season. I designed it to help stimulate the immune system during the winter cold and flu season and to help bring peace and encouragement during the darkness of the winters long days. It would also be an excellent routine for when you are feeling down - sad, lonely, discouraged, depressed, or worried. I hope you enjoy this routine as much as I have and that you find it to be a breath of fresh air this winter. Nameste!
Start your yoga routine with a time of quiet breathing and seated meditation. Take a moment to think about your life and the cold outside.
Let go of the cold. Welcome yourself into a safe and warm space.
Let go of your worries, insecurities, and the stress that you hold on to. Welcome yourself into a safe and warm space.
This is a safe place. This is a secure place. This is a warm place.
“Winter does not belong to death, although the outside of it looks like death. Beneath the snow, the grass is growing. Below the frost, the roots are warm and alive. Winter is only a spring too weak and feeble for us to see that it is living. The cold does for all things what the gardener has sometimes to do for valuable trees: he must half kill them before they will bear any fruit. Winter is in truth the small beginnings of the spring.”
Take a moment to recognize that the winter that is going on around you and whatever winters might be going on within you are fleeting, they will pass. "Winter is in truth the small beginnings of the spring."
Gentle neck stretches (ear to shoulder and chin to chest)
Bound Angle Pose - from this pose grab your angles and make circles with your upper body, first one direction and then the other
Easy pose side stretch (It’s the same as the link but in easy pose or bound angle instead of square pose)
Side stretch (both sides)
Lunge with right leg back
Four Limb Staff pose from knees
Downward facing dog (dynamic - bend one knee at a time walking in place)
Warrior I with right leg back
Warrior II with right leg back
Triangle with right leg back
Side stretch (both sides)
Lunge with left leg back
Warrior I with left leg back
Warrior II with left leg back
Triangle with left leg back
Wide Legged Forward Bend (with twists)
Tree pose (both sides)
Bridge (dynamic – move up and down instead of holding up)
Knees to Chest
Give yourself lots of time to relax in corpse pose (or savasana). Slowly relax all of the muscles in your face, shoulders, arms, torso, legs, and feet.
“Winter does not belong to death, although the outside of it looks like death. Beneath the snow, the grass is growing. Below the frost, the roots are warm and alive. Winter is only a spring too weak and feeble for us to see that it is living.”
Where ever you find yourself today, whether it be in a springtime of your life or a winter of your soul, may you remember that growth is happening. That whatever your life looks like on the outside and whatever your environment and experiences may be right now, you have warmth, beauty and life within you.
Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman