YIP is now on Fall/Winter Hiatus.

Stay tuned into YIP events and meetups by signing up to receive YIP news. Email and write "subscribe" for the subject heading. Join us on Facebook!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hot Yoga Cool Weather 

As I was reviewing the blog I realized that we don't really have posts about personal practices and thought it would be helpful to share some of our experiences for all who, specially now that YIP is on hiatus, are looking to keep up their yoga practice.  I guess I'll start if off with my own Fall yoga practice around Fort Tryon Park, this is something I like to do to keep my connection to my community and nature alive even through the cooler weather. My routine is simple: Hiking. I go for really active walks (you can run of course), do a once over loop around the Cloisters and then pause on the Great Lawn for 15-20 minutes of Yoga, by now my body is cozily warmed.  My yoga practice looks something like this:
5 Sun Salutation A (Mountain pose -> swan dive -> flat back -> forward fold -> low lounge -> down dog -> plank -> push up -> upward facing dog -> down dog (for 5 breaths) -> step to forward fold -> flat back -> reverse swan dive -> mountain pose -> And same routine again with the opposite leg going into low lounge.

The Sun A's bit usually takes me about 10 minutes to do and I shed a layer or two in the process.  But don't shed too much though because you can catch a cold this way, no matter how hot you get don't strip down to your t-shirt! You'll cool down soon enough.

After the Sun A's I conclude my practice with: Warrior 2 -> reverse warrior 2 -> triangle -> wide legged forward fold -> and now Warrior 2 on the other side --> reverse warrior 2 --> Triangle --> back to wide legged forward fold.
I like lingering in the forward fold and just beath into the goodness of just hanging out while my heart rate settles down. You can stop here, slowly rolling back up to stand, or if you are feeling very warm move on to the ground for a bridgepose.  I personally love ending my practice with an inversion, it just really grounds me (sounds weird doesn't, being grounded when you are upside down? but the thing is that being upside down for over 2 minutes actually begins to feel very calming; the entire fluid flow of the body slows down while working against gravity). 

For Headstand Try This: from wide legged forward fold open your legs even wider so that you can bring your hands and head to the floor.  Make sure you are making an equilateral triangle with your hands and head.  One good trick is to come to a flat back, making sure your hands are directly underneath your shoulders, then as you bend the elbows to bring the head to the floor, slide your hands back (don't lose their width of separation) to be almost underneath your legs. Now you are ready for tripod headstand, if you are just beginning with headstand practice, bend one leg and bring the knee to the back of the arm, maybe you can get both knees on your arms like this. Moving on, engage your core and see if you can squeeze the knees into your chest (as you do, they will come off the back of the arms and now it is your core strength holding you up).  From knees into the chest you can start playing around with extending the legs up.

Tip for more experienced headstanders: From legs wide position, engage the core and draw the knee caps up as you scissor the legs together into head stand.  To come down, open legs wide again and send your sitbone slightly beyond your shoulders as the feet aim for the same spot from which you lifted off (you might feel like you'll fall, but the weight of your legs in the opposite direction will keep you balanced).  

No matter how far you take this, you'll still be upside down and receiving the aweseome benefits! Then you can go home and settle into a nice cup of hot tea with milk and honey (that's my thing anyways).

Happy Fall and Have Fun!

If you would like to share your experience with how you stay connected to nature and your yoga practice in the cooler months send YIP an email with your story and a picture (optional) at


No comments:

Post a Comment