“Winter is on my head, but eternal Spring is in my heart.”
Here in Chagrin Falls, lots of people are having a hard time warming up this winter. While cozy sweaters, hot tea, and fireplaces are aplenty, we’re looking forward to hearing birds chirping, seeing plants blooming, walking our dogs and opening our windows and hearts to the brightness of Spring!
The good news is: it’s officially March and that means it’s not much longer until we’ll be feeling the warmth of the sun. Until then, warm up in our cozy studio to these yoga poses that are proven to heat things up.
1. Sun Salutation A
Sun Salutations are a fundamental practice in Vinyasa Yoga.
Sun A consists of:
Mountain Pose, Forward Fold, Half-Way Lift, Jump Back, High Plank, Low Plank, Upward-Facing Dog, Downward Facing Dog, Jump Forward.
Sun A (or a variation of it) usually kicks off your yoga practice and is used to warm and awaken the body. The “Vinyasa” (flow), which happens while transitioning from one pose to another using breath.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: The objective in Sun Salutations is to link your breath to movement, this can be incredibly grounding and warming.
2. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)/ Chair Twist
While it’s not everyone’s favorite pose, we incorporate Chair Pose into many Yoga classes because it makes us stronger. While in Chair, you should feel a warming sensation in your Quadriceps. Always remember to keep your knees level in Chair, even if your instructor calls for a Chair Twist. Don’t let those shoulders creep up to your ears – this pose may look small, but when you’re in it, your body should still feel long.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Intensify this pose by lifting toes and push back even further into your heels.
3. Crescent Lunge/ Crescent Lunge with a Twist
Crescent Lunge is a pose within the Warrior Series, a series that “stokes the furnace,” building heat even more intensely into your practice.
Moving from from Chair Pose into Crescent Lunge makes for a warming transition. Want to warm it up even more? Transition from a Chair Pose with a Twist.
Adding a spinal twist to poses like Chair Pose and Crescent Lunge bring the heat you feel in your legs up into your abs and upper body. Are you getting warmer?
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Engage your abdominals, back thigh, arms, fingers and even toes in Crescent Lunge to heat things up even more.
4. Boat Pose
While early Sun Salutations and Warrior Poses are sure to raise your body temperature, toward the end of class, we begin to slow down with more grounding poses, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t equally warming. In Boat Pose, your legs are straight and active, feet pressed together and toes are alive. Most of all, your abdominal muscles are engaged and alive.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Warm up even more by engaging other yogis around you! Hold each other up and support your friends through this challenging pose.
5. Pigeon (Any Variation)
Hip Openers have a lot of yin qualities to them. Yin and Yang are complementary energies. Most of the posed mentioned in this blog are active, yang poses. In Yin poses, we are transitioning into receiving the sensations of the pose and allowing gravity to doing much of the work for us. While yin poses can be relaxing, they’re still warming to our hip-joints and hearts.
CHAGRIN YOGI TIP: Heat up your half pigeon and try a king pigeon. Engage your arms and bend your back in this variation.
Use this as a resource in your home practice, or request of these options in your next Chagrin Yoga class!