By Puja Gupta
During winter days, the body becomes stiff which makes it prone to cramps, joint pain, and injury. Yoga can cure your winter lethargy and stiffness.
All you need is your yoga mat and as little as 20 minutes thrice a week to see the difference. Exercise heats up the body from the inside and releases stiffness from the muscles making you feel active and energetic. Grand Master Akshar shares a few yoga poses that may help deal with these winter woes.
Start your day with sukshma vyayam. In yoga, warming up of the body starts from the toes and goes all the way up. You can start with ankle rotations, warming up the ankle joints, moving on to your knees, hips, arms, neck, and head. Warming up the body ensures that your productive levels on the mat are high and you also remain free from injuries.
Practise gently and slowly keeping awareness on each movement and syncing your breath along with each posture. When you practice slowly it ensures that you are mindful of your movements and this results in better strength flexibility and a positive outcome overall. Establish the communication between the mind and the body through the breath in a gentle and slow manner. Practicing any movements in a hasty way not only leads to injury but can also harm the respiratory and the nervous system.
Choose your environment
During the winter, choose a warm and cosy place for your practice. If indoors, choose a room or a spot where there isn’t a cold draft in the air. If you are practicing outdoors make sure that you are well covered in warm clothing. Practise is vital to keep your body in good health and in a mobile condition. Practice the following yoga postures:
– Cat Pose- Urdvha Mukhi /Adhomukhi Marjariasana: To get into this pose, kneel down placing your knees under the hips and palms under your shoulders. Inhale and curl your spine to look up. Exhale and round your back and shoulders to look at your navel. This asana is good for warming up the spine
– Downward Dog — Adhomukhi Svanasana: To form downward dog, you can start in Child’s Pose resting your pelvis on your heels and reaching out in front of you with your forehead on the floor. From here, bring your toes down to push your knees and pelvis up forming a triangular shape with the body. Make sure the distance between the palms and your feet is neither too far away nor is it too close.
– Upward Facing Dog -Urdvha Mukhi Svanasana: Come to plank posture and from here gently drop the pelvis and the stomach down without touching the floor. Lift the chest and the shoulders towards the sky and look up. In this posture do not bend your elbows and squeeze the glutes to activate the back muscles.
These are simple and effective postures that can be performed by practitioners of any age. Once you are able to perform these postures with ease then you can add advanced level asanas in your practice such as Wheel Pose, Bow Pose, Peacock Pose, Headstand and so on. Along with your yoga practice, ensure that you monitor your food intake and consume water at room temperature.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])