By charlottedodson.tv | Thanks to atdusk phtography
Fire up the heater, put on those ugg boots and fill up your hot water bottle – the weather outside has taken a turn for the seriously chilly, with temperatures dropping dramatically on a daily basis, it seems. Winter really is here! But how can we stay in shape while simultaneously keeping our internal body systems warm and fully-functional this winter?
The sun is known through human history as an illuminator and provider, and its radiant glow warms us up -hence the title given to this sequence, as it acts to internally warm our body up. Sun salutations are used regularly at the start of a yoga practice. Each movement is co-ordinated with the breath. Your inhale uplifts and opens, whereas your exhale contracts and folds down. You can bend your knees as much as you need to throughout your practice, which will take pressure off of your lower back. Keep your belly tucked into the spine to protect your lower back as you move. The sun salutations builds strength and flexibility. Complete the following cycle to feel revitalised and brighten up your whole day.There are various steps to this movement, with each flowing gracefully from one movement to the next, hold each pose for 1 breath (except in downward facing dog).
Start by standing at the top of your mat. Feet together, legs active and your arms lengthen down by your side or into prayer at the centre of your chest. Breathe deeply for a few breaths.
Raise your arms out to the side and up over your head, palms together as you look up to your thumbs (take your gaze down to the floor if your neck is sore). Arms straight, legs strong and ground your feet into the earth (knees soft if your back is tender).
Draw your arms out to the side and down to the floor, fingertips or palms flat to the ground. Head towards your knees, keep knees bent slightly – especially if your lower back is sore.
Lift up slightly onto your fingertips as you elongate your spine. Your legs are active, kneecaps lifting and hips lift up to the ceiling. Take your gaze forward, chin tucks slightly into your throat.
Plant your hands flat into the floor, shoulder distant apart, your knees can bend more as you need to. Step or jump back one leg distant, toes tuck under as you gracefully lower from high plank to your knees and chest or you can lower the whole of your front body to the floor.
From downward facing dog, step or jump towards your hands at the top of your mat. Feet together or hip distant apart, lifting up to your fingertips, legs active as you gaze forward.
On your exhale, fold forward with your head towards your knees as you lengthen your spine. Remember you can bend your knees at much as you need to in his movement.
Swing your arms out to the side and up to prayer above your head. Take your gaze upward if your neck feels good.
Come back to your standing mountain pose at the top of your mat. This is one sun salutation. Repeat a few more times to build your endurance, stamina, strength and flexibility. This sequence gives your an inner glow that shines through to your outer self.