How can you be both cool and toasty this winter? Toss a smooth, warming 10-minute yoga vinyasa into your day.
A vinyasa is a flowing sequence of yoga poses. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. This one draws on basic poses like chair, downward facing dog and planks to call upon large muscles like quadriceps, abdominals, and hamstrings to increase blood flow and warm your body in order to give the winter creaks the boot. Hold each pose for one or two breaths before moving on to the next position. Repeat the entire sequence two or three times.
If you have questions about proper alignment or a particular pose, follow the links to find well-articulated cues and fine photos from the yogis at Yoga Basics.
Your “Warm-Me-Up” Yoga Flow
1) Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
Take the time to enjoy several deep inhalations and exhalations before you dive into the flow. When you’re ready, reach your hands toward the ceiling and bend your knees to sink into Chair Pose (Utkatasana). Chair will immediately begin to warm you. Hold it for 2 or 3 breaths.
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2) Straighten your legs and stand tall while reaching for the ceiling.
3) Shift your weight so your glutes rise toward the ceiling.
Hold Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana) for a breath before shifting back into Plank (Phalakasana). Smoothly move through Chaturanga Dadasana, lower your chest toward the ground before lifting your chest tall to hold Cobra (Bhujangasana).
4) You’ve been working hard! It’s time for a counter pose.
Shift your weight and sink back into Child’s Pose (Balasana). Extend your arms straight in front of you on the ground and leave enough space between your knees so your belly can relax and you can get a few good breaths.
Plant your toes on the ground and move into Plank.
6) Hop or walk your feet forward.
Keep your hands on the ground. Your knees can be bent. Hold Standing Forward Bend for a breath before transitioning into Rag Doll (Uttanasa II).
7) Roll up to standing and pause in Mountain Pose.
Take in a single breath rotation.
8) Step your right foot forward and bring your arms next to your ears for Warrior One (Virabhadrasana I).
Slowly move your arms so your right hand comes forward and your left extends back. Hold Warrior Two (Virabhadrasana II). Move into Reverse Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana). Reach up to the ceiling, allowing your gaze to follow your fingertips.
9) Reverse the sequence moving back into Warrior Two for a breath, then Warrior One.
Step your feet together to finish in Mountain Pose.
10) Repeat the Warrior sequence on the other side by stepping left foot forward to Warrior One.
Move into Warrior Two, Reverse Warrior, then back to Warrior Two and Warrior One.
11) Step your feet together, shoulder width apart. Take prayer hands up to your chest.