“In a way Winter season is the real Spring– the time when the inner things occur, the rebirth of nature”. (Edna O’Brien). Winter season is indeed a time of stillness, offering us an opportunity for inner reflection. It can also be a time when we need a little added motivation to keep up our yoga exercise practice – an ideal time to remain indoors and develop a house practice.

The following yoga series will assist keep your body warm, induce a sense of health and improve your immunity against seasonal disease this winter season. In song with the natural tendency of nature to slow down throughout the winter season months, practice the movements in a slow and gentle means, mindful of the rhythm and intimacy of the breath.

You can utilize the sequence as a stand-alone brief practice or as component of a longer series after some cycles of Surya Namaskar(Salute to the Sun):

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    1.        Start in Vajrasana, (Thunderbolt posture) by sitting on your heels with your hands on your knees. Do a couple of cycles of deep stomach breathing, extending the abdomen on the in breath and pulling back to the spinal column on the out breath. Continue the breathing cycle with Kapalabhati, (Head Shining breath) as you take a long slow breathing with both nostrils and breathe out forcefully through the nose, simultaneously pulling your stomach back to the spine. Repeat 10 times. Go back to some long in- and exhalations to normalise your breathing. Caution: avoid Kapalabhati if you’re pregnant, have heart disease, high blood pressure or a hernia.

  • 2.        Move into Balasana, (Extended Child posture) as you sit back onto your heels, stretching your arms in front of you with your forehead on the floor. With your feet hip width apart exhale as you remove your knees far from the floor and align your arms as you relocate into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Pet dog). Remain in the posture for 6 breaths. Walk your feet forward between the hands into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Flexed), tucking the fingers below the toes – knees bend if required.
  • 3. Raise the body up into Utkatasana, (the Chair position) by flexing your legs, dropping the butts and raising the arms in front of you shoulder height. Stay for 6 breaths.
  • 4. Place your hands on the flooring beside your feet and step or jump both legs backwards into Plank posture with the toes curled under, arms straight and hands placed under the shoulders. On the next inhalation bring the right knee towards your navel as you round the back and on an exhalation release the right leg directly back into Plank. Repeat the dynamic plank with your left leg – 4 times each, dealing with your capability.
  • 5.        Exhale into Downward Facing Dog. On an exhalation raise your right leg behind you and bring your right foot forward between your hands, raising your upper body and arms into Virabadhra I, (Warrior I pose). Repeat on the other side.
  • 6.        Use Downward Facing Dog as a change pose before relocating into Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, (the Pigeon Pose) by bringing your bent right knee forward between the hands to rest on the inside of your right wrist, right heel pointing in towards your body. Stretch your left leg behind you, the top of the foot on the flooring, squaring your hips to the front. Repeat on the other side.
  • 7. From Pigeon pose push back into Downward Dealing with Pet before launching into Anahatasana, (Heart Chakra Pose) as you launch onto all fours, your hips straightened over your knees, extending your arms out in front of you with the forehead on the floor. Stay for 6 breaths.
  • 8. Slide forward into a supported Bujangasana, (Cobra Pose) with your elbows and lower arms on the flooring straight under your shoulders. Appreciate for 6 breaths or longer.
  • 9. Release your chest to the floor, arms stretched out in front of you prior to you roll over onto your back hugging both knees as you launch the back.
  • 10. To preserve your body heat cover yourself with a blanket before you release into the corrective pose Savasana, (Corpse Pose) with your legs separated, arms unwinded by your side and palms cranked up. Savour the pleasure of launching and letting go.
  • 11. For the first couple of minutes in Savasana do some rounds of Brahmari pranayama, (Bee Breath) as you breathe in deeply from both nostrils and exhale through the nose with a humming sound. The humming vibration has a helpful result on the immune system. Notice the delightful silence and sense of inner stillness. Rest in Savasana for a minimum of 10 mins or more.
  • 12. Maintain the stillness as you delicately roll up to a sitting position for your meditation practice.