Heat it Up with Some Flow!

It has been a beautiful, cold, adventurous weekend here in the NC mountains. We have gotten over a foot of snow and were completely out of power for about 36 hours. Thank goodness for the gas stove - it kept our bellies full and we were able to save all that was in the fridge! After the no power cold day or 2, I am super ready for some warm vinyasa practice. When our power returned, I rolled our space heater into my yoga room/office, put it on high and got to an invigorating practice. Often my yoga practice focuses on alignment and holding poses, but today's practice is for yummy, healing movement that creates heat in the body!

Tapas or austerity is one of the yoga Niyamas (things to do as a yogi!) and is often translated as austerity. With self discipline and determination we move toward our goals. As described by Kimberly Wilson in her oh-so-fab 1st book Hip Tranquil Chick:

"Just as heating an object makes it more malleable, so does discipline allow you to change and grow. This heat (tapas) brings transformation and allows the hip tranquil chick to be mindful of making sacrifices in order to move further along the spiritual path."

With the coming of another year, this heating practice can also connect you with the inner fire that urges us on to develop, mindfully make choices to move along, and to love life and all that we do!

Heat it up - warming Tapas vinyasa!
  1. Cat/Cow - 5-6 breathes
  2. Cat/Cow Sequence with added push up (inhale, dog tilt the pelvis and bend the elbows lowering the chest toward the floor. exhale, straighten the arms and arch the spine into cat. inhale, extend the right leg out long. exhale, round the spine and bring the right knee toward your nose engaging the abdominals. inhale, extend the right leg out long again. exhale, bring the right knee back to the mat.) Repeat 3-5 times on each side.
  3. Adho Mukha Savasana - Downward Facing Dog (pedaling through the feet and swaying the hips from side to side to generate some heat!)
  4. Virasana - Hero pose
  5. Kapalabhati - Breath of Fire or Skull Shining Breath
  6. Adho Mukha Savasana - Down Dog to Plank Shifts front to back with with breath
  7. Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend
  8. Surya Namaskar A (traditional Ashtanga style) 4-6 times
  9. Surya Namaskar B (traditional Asthanga Style) 4-6 times
  10. Adho Mukha Savasana - Downward Facing Dog
  11. Right foot forward inhale to high lunge arms overhead
  12. exhale, open to Virabhadrasana II - Warrior 2
  13. inhale, reach right arm back into crescent side stretch with warrior 2 legs
  14. exhale, back to warrior 2
  15. inhale, right knee straightens
  16. exhale, into Trikonasana - Triangle Pose (hold for a few breath cycles)
  17. inhale, lift the torso to warrior 2
  18. exhale, windmill the arms to the mat and step to Downward Facing Dog
  19. Repeat #10-18 three times on each side with breath
  20. Virasana - Hero Pose
  21. Kapalabhati - Breath of Fire
  22. Ustrasana - Camel Pose
  23. Balasana - Child's pose
  24. Low lunge into hamstring stretch (from a low lunge exhale, shift the weight into the back knee and straighten the right leg as much as possible. inhale, shift back into the forward low lunge. Repeat 6-8 times each side.
  25. Sethu Bandasana - Bridge
  26. Chakrasana - Wheel
  27. Reclined Twist
  28. SAVASANA. you deserve it!
Happy Holidays to All! See you next Tuesday!

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