Published on December 14th, 2016 | by Catherine Tingey0
Yin Yoga for Winter
Yin Yoga for Winter
The Fall & Winter months are all about contraction.
Plants become dormant, we spend more time indoors and in general, may feel less energetic and wish to hibernate more.
Perhaps we sleep in on weekends, and don’t feel like tackling all the nagging things on our to-do lists.
That’s ok, because from a Chinese Medicine perspective, which emphasizes living in harmony with the seasons and cycles of nature, this is the time to
s l o w d o w n.
Slowing down means maybe you stay indoors more, don’t work out as hard or as often, read or meditate or generally just engage in more introspective activities.
The body needs more nourishing foods at this time of year – think cooked instead of raw, with an emphasis on root vegetables and winter greens. Bone broths and slow cooked foods at a low temperature are also great. I find myself really looking forward to a warm liquidy meal on winter mornings – no more cold, green smoothies! – and this dal is easy to make and eat for days.
I think of the weeks between the end of DST and the Winter Soltice (Dec 21) as a time to reflect on the year, and what I want to bring in the next year.
This can certainly be challenging amidst all the holiday parties and family gatherings!
But this reflection needn’t require a retreat, a vacation or $ spent – just a couple of minutes out of each day.
Here’s a short YIN sequence to try at home:
Start with a warm room and gather some large pillows or couch cushions.
CHILD’s POSE 5 breaths
PUPPY POSE 5 breaths
BOUND ANGLE POSE. You don’t need a strap – it can just be a simple arch of the low back, opening of the chest on some cushions. If you don’t like the soles of your feet together, extend the legs out.
Find what feels good and stay there for 5 minutes, breathing slowly and deeply.
Bend the knees into the chest, give yourself a squeeze, then drop the knees to the right for a GENTLE TWIST. Take 5 breaths, then over to the left, 5 breaths.
CORPSE POSE 7-10 minutes
Have a favorite yin yoga pose? Feel free to comment below!