Winter is such a good time to explore some of the foundation Standing Poses.
Being colder, the body maybe less willing for the fuller expressions of many of the poses, so it’s a great opportunity to play with some of the basic standing ones.
These are warming in nature, so good as a counter action for winter but they are also very grounding and enable us to explore the idea of drawing back to our centre without letting the body get cold! Throughout the whole sequence really sit in your centre. This centre is found deep in your belly, sitting in the pelvic bowl. It is the centre of your gravity, so pretty important as you flow in and out of postures. Grounding from this centre into your legs and feet, down to the earth. Like the roots of a tree.
You don’t have to do anything flashy or even work with the fullest expression of any of these poses. What is good to do in the cold of winter is to work with repetition and flow to warm the body before coming into holding the posture where we can really work with the drawing in and contemplative aspect of our practice, which winter is also good for. Listen to your body for your best advice and guidance.
Here is the sequence. Being a sunnier than usual winter, I have had the pleasure of really connecting to the earth as I do this earth focused sequence, outside. Wherever you choose to try this, or any practice, make sure its warm!
Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Grounding down through your legs and feet into the earth beneath you. Relax here as you take a couple of deep belly breaths, listening to the needs of your body as you do so. You may even like to set an Intention like “I will honour the needs and guidance of my body”.
Inhale the arms up and as you exhale sit back down in Utkatasana, Chair Pose. From here you can either exhale down into a forward fold (Uttanasana) and repeat a few times or simply move from Chair to Mountain a number of times to warm the body. Full deep conscious breathes as you move.
From Utkatasana take an inhale and as you exhale step back with your left foot and extend your arms out shoulder height as you do (Star Pose). Right foot 90, left foot 45 degrees.
Take an inhale and bend the right knee so it sits over your ankle, or just behind, in Virabhadrasana ll (Warrior ll).
Exhale as you drop your left arm down to your left hip or leg with the right arm reaching up to the sky or beyond in Reverse
Warrior. Inhale back to Warrior ll. This is where we simply come into moving repetition.
Now Exhale straighten your right leg and reach forward with your arm, keeping your right waist long and take your right hand to your right leg. Left arm straight up towards the sky or if it feels natural, lengthening it in line with your ear.
Inhale back to Warrior ll and Exhale back into Reverse Warrior, Inhale to Warrior ll then exhale Triangle. Continue this. Repeat 3 – 7 times. Then come into and hold Triangle pose for anywhere from 3 – 10 breathes.
From Trikonasana turn to
the front, turning out both feet to the length of your mat, so you come into Prasarita Padottanasana A, hands under shoulders; chest, chin and sitbones lifting up. Exhale to release down, head reaching to the earth in pose B. Rolling back up into A on Inhale and Exhaling back down into B. Repeat several times. Releasing and warming the spine.
Turn to your left so your left foot is 90 degree and right foot turned out to about 45. Inhale up into Warrior ll, to do the left side, and Exhale back into Reverse Warrior. Inhale into Warrior and Exhale into Trikonasana.
Repeat as many times as you did on the other side. Then finish in Triangle Pose again holding for the same amount of breathes you did there.
From Trikonasana, turn once again so both feet face the length of your mat again. Inhale and bring your arms over head, hands touching each other as you reach up and Exhale come down with arms and spine staying in one long smooth line all the way down, then on your next Inhale rolling back up knees bent, back rounding all the way back up. Repeat several times.
If you like, finish here by coming back into Prasarita Padottanasana B and hold for several breathes.
Take several breathes here, feeling into the body and the effects of the practice. What has changed? Do you feel better? Does something hurt or niggle where it didn’t before? Take a moment for some reflection.
Enjoy your practice. Listen to the body. Move with Joy.