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Yoga to Warm You Up

Heidi Kristoffer

Whether you are in a climate like New York where we just had our second polar vortex or you practice in a cold room, these poses will get rid of the chills by building your internal heat. Bonus: Warming your body from the inside out is the best way to ensure your muscles stay safe while you complete your practice.

Do each of the following poses for at least five deep breaths. If you don't have time for all eight, just completing five will help you shake off the shivers and heat up!

Tip: Bhastrika, also know as “bellows breathing,” is often used in yoga to create internal heat. To practice this, sit cross-legged with your palms on thighs and mouth closed. Take a big inhale through your nose, then exhale through your nose. Begin breathing more rapidly with short, sharp, and even inhales and exhales through your nose. (It sounds like a dog panting.) Work your way to faster breaths in time. Do this for as long as you can.

RELATED: Yoga Poses to Detox Naturally


Chair Pose: Stand with feet together, toes touching, heels slightly apart, and outer edges of feet parallel. Sink hips and reach arms high, palms facing in. Sit back. Look in front of your knees and make sure you can see your toes. If you can't, sit back until you can. Drop shoulders away from ears and try turning the corners of your mouth up. Breathe here for 5 deep breaths.

 Standing Goddess Pose Variation: From standing, step right foot way out to the right with toes turned out. Sink hips and bend knees directly over ankles. Rise up on the balls of feet and frame face with arms, palms facing in. Breathe here for 5 deep breaths.
 Diver's Pose: Stand with feet together, knees slightly bent. Rise up on the balls of feet, and start to hinge forward from waist, keeping arms on either side of torso, palms facing in and fingers spread. Allow head to dive toward the ground. Breathe here for 5 deep breaths.
 Warrior III: From standing, fold forward, walk hands underneath shoulders and place them on the floor or blocks. Keeping knees soft, shift weight into left foot and float right leg behind you. Reach through right heel and internally rotate right thigh down so toes point toward the ground. When you feel steady, lift arms and reach back with arms in line with body. For more intensity (and heat!), lift arms forward to frame face. Breathe here for 5 deep breaths.
 Warrior I: From down dog, step right foot forward between hands, spin left heel down with foot slightly angled out, press into feet, and reach arms up to ceiling, framing face. Breathe here for 5 deep breaths. Repeat on left side.
 Side Plank: From plank pose, transfer weight to left hand and outer edge of left foot. Extend right arm toward the ceiling. Place one foot in front of the other, then stack right foot on top of left. (Beginners can modify by lowering bottom shin to the ground.) Breathe here for 5 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
 Locust Variation: Lie facedown on the floor with big toes together. Reach arms long on either side of you and use a big inhale to lift chest and feet off the ground. Breathe here for 5 deep breaths.
 Low Boat: Come to boat pose. Lower middle back toward the ground, pulling belly button to spine and keeping head and shoulders lifted off the ground. With legs together, lower them until feet are about 6 inches from the ground. Engage abdominals and quadriceps, and breathe here for 5 deep breaths.

Tip: For extra heat, complete 1 minute of bellows breathing in this pose.



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