[Weekly Workout] Restorative Winter Yoga Sequence

Rejuvenating winter yoga sequence

Relax and rejuvenate after the busy holiday season with this restorative and calming winter yoga sequence.

The holidays seem to get busier every year, and when they’re over, we are faced with the prospect of several more dreary months of winter. If you’re feeling a bit run down or depressed this time of year, you’re not alone. This gentle and warming winter yoga sequence will give you the opportunity to take some time out to care for yourself after the stress of the holiday season.

The winter yoga sequence suggested below does include several props, but you can do many of the poses without these if you like, or substitute household items if you don’t have the props mentioned. A pillow or a rolled up blanket can replace a yoga block, while a body pillow will make do as a bolster.

Throughout each pose, imagine delivering the warmth and energy of your hands back into your body, replenishing your energy and caring for yourself. You can also meditate on the chakras, or simply focus gently on each sensation throughout your body as you move through the poses.

Take your time with this, spending about 5 minutes with each pose.

This basic yin yoga sequence is from YogaInternational.com – for more details plus photos of each pose, check out the full session here:

Hero Pose (Virasana) with Palm Rubbing and Anjali Mudra

Come to a high kneeling position, with your knees a little wider than hip-distance apart and your toes pointed, and place a bolster lengthwise between your shins (even if you don’t need it). Sit on the bolster with an upright spine.

Begin to rub your palms together in front of you as if you’re starting a fire. Then rub them even faster for a few breath cycles, until your hands are warm.

Press your palms together in offering seal (anjali mudra) with your thumbs at your breastbone. Feel the warmth of your right palm infusing your left palm, and the warmth of your left palm infusing your right palm. Remain in the pose for several deep breaths.

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Supported Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana or Upavista Konasana) With Hands on Legs
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Lengthen your legs out in front of you, bringing them as wide apart as you’d like, and placing your bolster vertically between your shins. Lean forward slightly so that your forehead can rest on the bolster. Place your hands on your shins or thighs, encouraging your legs to relax…

Stay here for several minutes, releasing any tension in your legs, before returning to an upright seated position.

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Supported Twist With Palms Touching

Come to a seated position, with your left hip just in front of the inclined bolster and your hands on either side of it, knees pointing to the right. As much as possible, turn your chest to face the bolster. Slowly ease your way onto the bolster, aiming to bring as much of your belly and chest onto it as you can. Turn your head in whichever direction feels good to you.

Embrace the bolster, sliding your hands underneath it. Turn one palm up, and place your other palm down on top of it.

Relax here for several minutes, feeling the warmth of your hands. Then, gently lift yourself up, and switch sides; reverse your hands, so that the hand that was below is now on top of the other.

Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) With Hands on Lower Ribs

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Place a bolster lengthwise in the middle of your mat. Lie back over the bolster so that your head and shoulders are resting on the floor. Stretch your legs out in front of you, allowing your heels to be heavy. Bend your elbows, placing your hands on your lower rib cage.

Stay here for several minutes, feeling the gentle weight of your hands on your lowest ribs as you breathe. To come out of the pose, bend your knees to bring your feet to the ground, lift your hips, move the bolster to one side, then lower your hips back down to the ground.

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Savasana Variation With Hands Over Eyes

Lie on your back, placing the bolster horizontally across your chest. Bring your palms to your eyes, resting your elbows against the bolster.

Stay here for several minutes, encouraging your eyes—and the mind behind them—to relax.

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Finish the sequence with a return to Hero Pose with palm rubbing as in the first exercise.

See the full winter yoga sequence at YogaInternational.com.

 

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