Energizing Asana For The Cold

I don’t know about you, and maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but bed is my favorite place in the world.  I seek it for physical and emotional comfort, nurturing, warmth, and refuge.

When it gets cold out I find myself especially incapable of managing to get out of it (although once I do I am good to go).  But I can’t lie and say that there isn’t a day here or there when I pretty much don’t get out of bed.  I find this to be ok, life is all about balance, right?

However, when I find myself falling a bit too far out of that balance, as is the case lately with New York turning to Winter, I find it really helpful to keep my mat splayed out at all times(I overheard a dear friend mentioning this idea).  It calls me to it as I find myself saying, “Hey, it’s right there” and sooner than later I find myself moving through (at least) a few poses.

This helps to warm me back up and reset my fitness and health track if I haven’t practiced in a few days (plus, the calming benefits of course!).  Not to mention, giving yourself the space to do just a few poses here and there will cure any headache, that awful feeling of a sleep or laying around too long hangover, the fear of heading outside for the chill it will bring, or the inability to maintain exercising/good eating habits.  Plus,  you’ll perk up faster than if you drank 2 espressos (with none of the anxiety or dependence that caffeine can sometimes bring).

And, because of the energy just a few well-sequenced asana can produce, those few moments spent warming up my body usually call forth want for more movement; if I don’t end up doing a full sadhana or heading to class, I will usually end up dancing, taking a long walk (50-70 blocks),  or going to the gym.  From a sloth wrapped in my “pillow blanket” (as I call it) to hitting the gym and cleaning my apartment before I leave; all thanks to leaving out my mat and giving myself a chance to just move my body without expectation, for however long I may feel like it.

Below I’ve written a nice mini sequence (about 20 minutes) to get the body moving, any unbalanced tamas in check, and your mind and body ready to have a productive and enjoyable day.

** I sometimes jump right into my down dog but that might not be best for everyone.  And as always if it’s not in your practice or you are new to yoga, a teacher is highly recommended.


***flow=high plank->chaturanga->up dog/(low) cobra->down dog***

  • child’s pose
  • cat cow
  • extended table top
  • down dog
  • held high plank and/or plank crunches and/or lift one foot a few inches off the floor, then the other
  • flow
  • step/hop/walk to top of mat; forward fold; flat back
  • high plank
  • side plank (with various modifications)
  • flow
  • s/h/w to top of mat
  • high lunge with heart opener and/or tadasana with heart opener
  • wide leg forward fold twist
  • slowly roll up
  • warrior 2; peaceful warrior
  • come to top of mat
  • forward fold
  • flow
  • come gently to the knees
  • child’s pose