A Yogi’s Wintertime Wake Up

Feeling tired?  Tired with the winter blues?

All week I’ve been noticing the long faces, some faces, a shade of grey.

Most of us are in dire need of some Vitamin D, but if you are still feeling that wave of New Year’s resolution energy, you might want to get your butt up and moving.  Actually, today is the first day of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Wood Horse.  So why not start today?

In the practice of Chinese Taoism, one follows the cues from nature to feel centered and at one with the universe.  This is the secret to feeling truly healthy.

So when my fellow EDS/yogi friend Sarah asked for “a really good wake up & energizing morning yoga routine to do every morning before anything else”, I was caught slightly off guard.  Practicing the Way of the Tao for over a year, Sarah had caught me in the time of winter.  A time of remaining still and traveling in.  A few video practices came to mind, but it wasn’t the right season for me to give her a solid answer.

Fresh starts, like the new year, are often great times in our lives to shed the old and begin the new.  A word that is commonly used here is “detoxify”.  Sarah, I just finished the following practice just moments ago.  I felt as if this session with Clara Roberts-Oss was great for a winter time wake up.  In the spring I’m sure I will present something that is, well, a little more “springy”, but during these cold, cold days this 27 minute, detox flow should do the trick.  Between the intoxicating music, detoxifying poses and breath of fire, you will flow steadily into creating more breath and space in your body and mind.

The following practices are for the more seasoned yogi:

(For any modifications, follow the yogi dressed in purple.  Also, feel free to use a blanket or fold your mat length-wise to support your back knee in any “low” lunge (lunge with the back knee down).  For EDSers: when bringing your back leg from the lunge into standing, don’t be afraid to take the swoop in two steps, instead of one, to protect your front knee.)

If you have more time, my favorite morning practice still stands true with Rainbeau Mars’ ra’yoKa.  It’s an invigorating, 52 minute flow of integrating yourself with the sun, through yoga and some martial arts.  I Loved the practice so much, that I used it every morning for months.  As I would bow my head in Namaste to Rainbeau, I would give her thanks for creating such a beautiful workout.  I believe this gratitude is what allowed me to meet her personally.  Either buy her used DVD here @ Amazon for cheap, or receive it now for a $10 download on her site here.

(The sequence of this practice takes a few rounds to learn, so don’t become discouraged.  If you are looking for a practice on the gentle side, then this is not your practice!)

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If you only have a few minutes, here are some of my favorite Tara Stiles quickies:

Ultimate Stretch Yoga: 

Beginner Strengthening Flow:

A great awakening tool I use on the mornings that I need a jump start is something that I’ll call:

The Sat Kriya Washing Machine.

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In a seated position, ground your sits bones into the ground and allow your crown to lift toward the sky.  Bring your arms and hands into the position like the woman in the picture.  Have your thumbs behind your shoulders and your fingers in front.  Twist your arms and head to the left, breathing in.  Swish your upper torso (& head) to the right and exhale.  All breathing will be done through the nose.  I like to think “SAT” (pronounced sot), when I breathe in to the left, and think “NAM” (pronounced nom), when I breathe out to the right.

Sat Nam is a Sanskrit term with a very deep meaning.  It was once described as “One is bowing to Truth, to Be-ness, the essence of being.”  The “All-pervading Supreme Reality”, my “True Self.”

Practice this kriya for a minute and a half and you will surely feel awakened.  😉

 

Keep up @: Yoga for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

 

Resources:

http://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga-short-and-sweet-kriya-get-energy-moving

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satnam

http://www.kundaliniyogablog.com/-2006-11-12-sat-nam-definition/


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