As the winter snow begins to melt, it’s time to start evaluating your current yoga practice. During the winter months, yogis often have a difficult time stretching and bending into the more challenging asanas due to the cold weather. Winter can be a great time to focus on your alignment and get back to the basics of your yoga practice. However, most yogis look forward to spring and anticipate taking a leap back into a more rigorous practice.
With spring well on its way, it’s time to start considering what you can add to your yoga practice. If you’re trying to restructure a sequence for your home yoga practice, these three poses may be just what your mind and body need.
Low Lunge with a Twist
After the heavy overeating and hibernation of winter, you need to take some time to wring out your digestive system. Twists are an essential part of a detoxifying practice, so you can use this modification to build heat and detoxify your body simultaneously. This will get you warmed up and ready for a more intense practice ahead.
From a downward-facing dog, reach your right foot up high into the air. Bring it forward between the hands and rise up, staying on the ball of the back foot. The left elbow can rest gently on the right knee while the right arm extends up toward the ceiling. If the neck allows, you can look up at the hand. Be sure to repeat on the other side for a completely balanced practice.
Awaken your body with this intense backbend. Bow pose is an excellent choice for spring practice because it helps to increase spinal health and activates almost all of the muscle groups in the body.
From a plank pose, lower down onto the belly. You will reach back and grab the outer edge of the feet with the hands. On your next breath, push back with the feet and lift up the chest. Yogis who are strong enough should remain in this asana for five to ten breaths. If you’re not able to hold this pose, you may want to rest after two breaths and try it again.
One of the best ways to build heat in your practice is to start increasing the strength in your arms and shoulders. Spring is a great time to refine and sculpt the muscles of your upper body. The Dolphin pose not only allows yogis to build strength, but it also helps them to work on the rotation of their shoulders.
From a plank pose, bring the forearms down to the floor. Yogis need to take extra caution to ensure their elbows are directly underneath their shoulders in this position. Push back and lift your sit bones high into the air, as if you are in a downward-facing dog. You may move back and forth from the dolphin pose to a dolphin plank pose for ten breaths before resting.
Prepare your mind and body for spring with these simple adaptations for your regular yoga routine. See how you can incorporate these poses into your yoga sequence today.