Having lived in cold winter weather places for the majority of my life, I can attest to the fact that a yoga practice definitely feels different in the winter than in the summer months. It’s harder to feel open and flexible—and there is also a tendency to be more lifted or even hunched in the shoulders and upper back.
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Luckily, there are specific yoga poses you can do to help fight the external cold. These postures build heat internally, which allows your body to feel soft and more relaxed. If you are familiar with Ujjayi breathing, which is a heating breath, definitely use that during this sequence.
Seated Breath with Movement
Find a comfortable cross-legged position at the front of your mat. If it’s not comfortable to sit on the floor, sit on a cushion or a block. This is a moving-with-breath exercise that’s meant to warm you up fast. On an inhalation, reach your arms up to the ceiling, spreading your fingers wide apart. On an exhalation, make fists with your hands and quickly draw your arms down, bending your elbows so they’re by your sides and back behind you. Immediately on your next inhalation, reach your arms up as high as you can toward the ceiling and spread your fingers. Continue these movements quickly to help build heat fast. Just make sure to move with your breath, practicing Ujjayi breathing. Repeat for a few minutes before moving on to the next posture.
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