- Winter is around the corner, or wait, has it already arrived? Whatever the status of the cold wind is, there is no halt to our spiritual and yogic exercises. Yoga is an on-going phenomenon which needs no justification. So, this winter, let’s focus on adapting & practicing these yoga exercises to calm down our stressful self and say hello to a happier version.
Tias Little, the director of Prajna Yoga, believes in practicing supported & inverted poses which in turn increase the circulation of lymph. Lymph is a clear, watery fluid which moves through the body and picks up the bacteria, virus and other types of harmful enzymes, filters them out via the lymph nodes. This particular element ‘Lymph’ that moves by the muscular contractions, is really crucial. Thus, in each pose the yogic gurus recommend resting your head on a support to allow your neck, tongue and throat to relax and thereby encourage the free flow of lymph through the nose & throat. Also, hold each pose for 2-5 minutes, while breathing deeply from your diaphragm.
P.S.: These exercises should be performed in the given sequence to keep the cold and other throat diseases at bay.
1. Child’s Pose, supported – Balasana
Sit on your feet. Keep your knees separated and your big toes touching. With your eyes closed, fold your torso forward while letting your forehead rest on the floor or on a support like a blanket, bolster or block. Now, place your arms on the floor in front of you while allowing your elbows to bend out to the sides.
2. Downward-Facing Dog Pose, supported – Adho Mukha Svanasana
Starting from the Child’s Pose, press your hands into the floor, tuck your toes under and then lift your hips up and back down into a Down Dog position. Next, rest your head on a support. Extend through your inner arms while you press them on top of your thigh bones firmly back and away from your face.
3. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend – Prasarita PadottanasanaStarting from the Down Dog Pose, try to walk your feet up until they are in line with your hands and come up to a standing. Now, bring your feet about 4 feet apart and fold your torso forward and rest your head on the floor or on a kind of a support. Then, place your hands on the floor, and fold it inside your feet.
4. Supported Headstand – Salamba Sirsasana
Now, release from the Uttanasana and come down to your hands & knees. Now, interlock your fingers and place your outer forearms against the floor. Then, tuck your chin and place the back of the head in the cup made by your hands. Try straightening your legs, coming up onto the crown of your head. Lift the legs overhead to vertical. For the additional support, rest the knuckles against the baseboard the wall and then kick up onto the wall. Now, come back to the Child’s Pose after coming down.
5. Supported Shoulder stand – Sarvangasana
Now, lie on your back with your shoulders on the folded edge on one or more blankets. Keep your shoulders and head supported by the blankets while resting on the ground. Now, lift your legs to vertical 90 degree position, while supporting the mid-back with your hands and keep the upper arms & elbows parallel to each other.
Teacher Tias little, co-founder of Prajna Yoga in Sante Fe, New Mexico.