As a seasoned yogi, I believe in generating the heat from within to burn away toxins, move stagnant energy and tone those lovely muscles all at the same time. Stoking your inner fire is even more important as external temperatures drop and we tend to coil inwards to keep warm. Here are a few yoga poses in a suggested Vinyasa flow that will be sure to stoke that inner fire!
Begin with a Sun Salutation and follow with a Sun Salutation between each yoga pose to keep that internal fire stoked between poses.
1- Mountain Pose. Put your feet/legs together. Then bring your palms together in front of your chest. Deep breath in and out.
2- Inhale and lift your fingertips overhead
3- Standing Forward Bend. Exhale. Stretch forward at the waist and place your hands on the floor and forehead to knees. Align your back, wrist, elbows and shoulders. Inhale.
4- Low Plank. Exhale as you lower to hover your chest off the floor.
5- Upward Dog. Inhale. Sweep your chest forward into upward dog as you lower the pelvis.
6- Downward Dog. Exhale. Press the hips back and lift the tailbone into downward facing dog.
7- Standing Forward Bend. Step to the front of your mat. Place your legs/feet together. Forehead and chest press towards the legs.
8- Inhale. Raise your arms and fingertips overhead.
9- Mountain Pose. Exhale. Close eyes, lower arms, breathe and relax.
From mountain pose straighten your left leg and press the sole of your foot into the floor. Extend the right leg up and back behind you and hinge at the hips while lowering the arms and torso parallel to the floor. Inhale and exhale deeply for five breaths. Stretch out through your fingertips and extend through the heel of your raised leg. Inhale and exhale for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the reverse (left) side.
Step your feet apart so that there is about a leg's length distance between them. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in by 15 degrees. Make sure your feet are pressing firmly into the ground and the weight of your body is distributed evenly on both the feet.
Bring your arms to a T position at shoulder height. Extend through both arms and legs, and reach up through the crown of the head to lengthen your torso. Exhale as you slowly fold at the right hip crease and bend to the right, reaching towards the right foot with your right hand and extending your left hand to the ceiling. Inhale and exhale for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the reverse (left) side.
Extended Side Angle
Step your feet apart so that there is about a leg’s length distance between them, heels in line with each other. Turn your right leg and foot outward 90 degrees so your toes point to the short edge of your mat. Bend your right knee until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Make sure that your right knee stacks directly over your heel. Strengthen your back leg and reach your left arm up to the ceiling, palm facing downwards, and your right arm extending down towards the ground. Turn your gaze to your right hand. Inhale and exhale for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the reverse (left) side.
Inhale and raise your arms overhead and join the palms together.
Exhale and bend your knees, attempting to take the thighs as close to parallel to the floor as possible. In this pose feet and knees are kept together and palms are pressed overhead. The knees will sit slightly out over the feet as the torso leans slightly forward over the thighs. Focus on dropping your sitting bones while simultaneously lifting your heart. Stay for 15-30 seconds and wait for the burn.
Twisted Fierce Pose
In standing position, keep toes together with heels slightly apart. Bend knees to as close to 90 degrees as possible, lower hips. Bring hands to prayer and turn to the right, setting left elbow outside right knee. Press thumbs to sternum and open your heart to the right. Inhale and exhale and wait for the burn in your thighs. Inhale and exhale for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the reverse (left) side.
Inhale when raising the arms up to shoulder level with palms facing up. Relax arms and shoulders. Cross left arm over the right with the goal of having your elbows rest on top of one another. Wrap your lower arms around one another and place your palms together if possible. Bend the knees and cross your left leg over your right, hook the right foot behind your left ankle or shin. Point the crown of your head to the sky and look straight ahead. Inhale and exhale for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the reverse side.
Starting in high plank, rotate over onto the right edge of your foot and stack your left foot on top of the right foot. Position your right hand slightly in front of its shoulder and push into the ground while simultaneously reaching your left arm up to the ceiling. Inhale and exhale for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the reverse side.
One Legged Seated Spinal Twist
In seated position with a tall spine, cross your right foot over your left knee and place it on the ground. Place the right arm behind your back while taking the left arm in front of the right knee and reach your left hand under your left knee to clasp hands behind your back (if flexibility allows). Hold for up to 30 seconds and repeat on the reverse (left) side.
Please make sure that you take care of existing injuries and learn to listen to your own inner teacher. Sometimes when the heat gets to be too much it is more healing to take a calming and cooling child's pose rather than to push through and cause injuries.
Sabrina Banadyga - Guest Blogger