Updated: Mar 3, 2022
How to beat the winter blues with Yin Yoga
I know I'm not alone when I say, winter sucks! 😂 I mean, it's not all that bad when you have the extra time to plan ahead, dress warm, park in a garage, etc... but winter is definitely not my favourite season and I'm feeling ready for it to be spring. Am I alone in this? Spring is coming soon, right?
You know how I like to combat my winter blues? I love to make shovelling snow a game with my kids. I enjoy my fireplace regularly and practically never turn it off. I go for winter walks with my family to enjoy the crisp air and exercise. I seem to have to force myself outside but end up enjoying it once I'm out there.
Really though, I avoid being cold. I want to hibernate. I want to be oh so cozy and somewhat lazy! I love cozy socks, comfy clothes, hot tea and rest. Not always, but winter is my rest time and in the summer I'm way more active.
Through all of this, I do find that I do bring my physical body inward in a way that might not always serve my posture. Sometimes, I'll be hunched into a ball. I notice this is something I do more in the winter months.
That's why I love having a regular evening yoga practice to help undo the hibernation of my winter lifestyle. Nothing crazy! Just 10-20 minutes depending on my day.
I really enjoy practicing yoga in front of my fireplace and creating a cozy atmosphere where I can take in all the comforts of my studio. This time of year, I just want to be cozy and warm. Warm socks, a cozy sweater, some blankets, a hot tea... oh yeah!
You know what really warms my soul? UPPER BODY YIN. I find that my awareness around my posture is something that I'm always working to improve, and my upper back is somewhere I hold a lot of tension. Maybe you can relate!
Do some BADASS YIN with me this week and give your neck and shoulders some love! We'll spend 15 minutes opening up your upper back so your posture is better!
This week's class sequence is listed at the end of this blog post!
LATERAL SIDE FLEXION OF THE NECK is one of my favourite ways to open up my upper body, give my neck some love and beat the winter blues.!
Practice with me to the BADASS YIN: UPPER BODY FLOW either Live this Thursday or on demand in the FREE VIDEO LIBRARY after the class airs live.
BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom for 15 minutes!
ASANA LAB: LATERAL SIDE FLEXION OF THE NECK
Sit up tall and drop your right ear to the right shoulder.
The three principles of the practice still apply: find a nice edge where you are feeling some stress to the side of the neck away from the shoulder you are leaning towards.
Stay for a 1 or 2 minutes: work up to longer stays over time. If the edge starts to move, allow your ear to drop lower.
Be cautious that you are not simply tilting your whole body, or worse, collapsing your spine.
Keep sitting tall.
If you'd like a bit more stress, gently rest your right hand above your left ear to add a bit more weight: don’t pull – just let the hand relax there.
When you've had enough, use your right hand to push your head back to center and pause for a few breaths to allow the sensations to ebb away. Then try the other side.
Another option for increasing the stress of this lateral flexion to the cervical spine is to bring your other hand (in this case the left hand) behind your back.
If you want to work the left shoulder as well, try to wiggle the hand up between the shoulder blades as high as it can go. Otherwise, just let the arm rest behind you.
The goal here is to feel like you are dropping the left shoulder down as you relax the right ear over to the right shoulder. As the left shoulder drops, the sensation along the left side of the neck will intensify
BADASS YIN: UPPER BODY FLOW
Practice this sequence with me LIVE on Thursday March 3rd at 8pm ET
Lateral Side Flexion of the Neck + Firelog - right - 1 minute
Lateral Side Flexion of the Neck + Firelog - left - 1 minute
Cobra Eagle Arms - right over left - 2 minutes
Cobra Eagle Arms - left over right - 2 minutes
Reclined Cowface Arms - right arm on top - 2 minutes
Reclined Cowface Arms - left arm on top - 2 minutes
Seated Shoulder Stretch - 2 minutes
Check out my FREE VIDEO LIBRARY for more BADASS YOGA classes!
BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom and uploaded to my website video library afterward!