• Allie Beckmann

Burst Into Spring With These 7 Energizing Yoga Postures

To help shake off the heaviness of winter, here is an energizing yoga sequence that will stoke your inner fire and vitality. These postures increase heat, circulation, digestion, and discipline in the body and mind.

The postures can be done as a sequence or à la carte. As always, listen to your body and needs, and stay mindful of how everything feels. Consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Kundalini Circles (Seated Torso Circles)

  1. Sitting in an easy cross-legged pose, place your hands on your knees.

  2. Lengthen the spine and chest forward over your legs, and start to wind around to the right.

  3. As you start to churn toward the back, pull the navel in, rounding the spine and tucking the chin to chest; imagine you could hollow out your belly.

  4. Keep rotating around to the left and allow the spine to naturally lengthen as you draw your chest forward again.

  5. Coordinate breath with movement to find your rhythm.

  6. Do several circles in one direction, and then switch directions.

Dandayamna Bharmanasana (Spinal Balance Flow)

  1. Start in a tabletop position (“all fours”).

  2. Keeping your hips parallel to the floor, reach your right leg back and lift it off the ground to hip level.

  3. Push through your heel.

  4. Extend your opposite arm off the ground alongside your ear, palm facing your midline.

  5. Inhale as you reach your fingers and feet apart.

  6. Exhale to curl your knee in and up toward your nose (really squeeze!) while simultaneously curling your elbow into your belly button.

  7. Inhale to extend the arm and leg, exhale to squeeze them together.

  8. Repeat 5-8 times, then switch sides.

Parivrtta Utkatasana (Revolved Fierce Pose)

  1. Stand with both feet close together.

  2. Exhale as you bend your knees and reach your hips back and down.

  3. Push down through your heels, and make sure you can see your toes past your knees.

  4. Pull your belly button in and up.

  5. Keep your chest and belly lifting away from your thighs, and fiercely extend your spine toward the sky.

  6. Raise your arms overhead.

  7. Take 5-8 breaths here, or move into the twist.

Add the twist:

  1. Rotate your chest to the right as you take your left hand across the body to the outside of the right leg. Your right hand can go to your lower back, or you can reach your arm straight back behind you, palm facing out.

  2. Keep the spine lengthening and the chest open as you twist.

  3. Take 5-8 breaths.

  4. Repeat on the other side.

Virabhadrasana I (Warrior 1)

  1. Take a large step back with your left leg so that the whole foot lands on the ground, toes at a 30-degree angle (or so).

  2. Strongly push down and back with your back heel.

  3. Bend the front knee as close to 90 degrees without compromising the power and connection in the back leg and foot.

  4. Work to keep both hips facing forward and level.

  5. Extend the spine, lift the chest, and raise the arms overhead.

  6. Look to the sky.

  7. Take 5-8 breaths.

Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3)

  1. Place your hands on your hips, and take a step back with your left leg so that just your toes are on the ground.

  2. Keep both hips facing forward.

  3. Put all of your weight in your front standing leg, and lengthen through your spine and chest.

  4. Exhale and slowly start to hinge forward at your hips as your back leg lifts off the ground.

  5. Press down through your standing foot and fire all muscles (especially on the back leg).

  6. Keep lengthening your body apart in opposite directions while your eyes gaze at a steady point ahead of you on the ground.

  7. Pull the lower abdomen in and up, and keep lengthening forward through the chest.

  8. Eventually, your arms, torso, and back leg will be parallel to the floor with your body in the shape of a “T.” Your arms can stay on your hips, reach back toward your foot like an airplane, come out to the sides like wings, or reach forward alongside your ears.

  9. Take 5-8 breaths.

Navasana (Boat Pose)

  1. Sit on the ground with your knees bent into your chest bent and your toes just touching the floor.

  2. Place your hands on the backs of your thighs.

  3. Draw your chest up and shoulder blades back and down.

  4. Lean back slightly until your toes come off the floor and you can balance on your pelvis.

  5. Pull the belly button in and up as you lift your shins parallel to the floor.

  6. Squeeze your inner legs together and energize your toes.

  7. To take it further, release your hands from your thighs and extend your arms straight forward.

  8. To take it further still, work to extend your legs so your body looks like a “V” shape.

  9. Keep the belly drawing in and the chest lifted up to avoid too much rounding in the spine.

  10. Take 5-8 breaths.

Shalabasana (Locust Pose)

  1. Lay on your belly with your arms by your sides and your forehead resting on the ground.

  2. Squeezing your inner thighs toward each other, inhale to lift your legs, chest, and arms off the ground.

  3. Keep your palms facing your body, and really reach your fingers toward your toes.

  4. Your foundation comes from your pelvis here, so feel both your legs and spine lengthening out of your pelvis apart from each other; length is more important than height.

  5. Take 3-5 breaths.

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