Yoga for S.A.D.

In Ithaca, New York, I think it's a miracle to not experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, aka SAD. According to the weather service, Ithaca has a mere 154 sunny days per year, most of which land during our spectacular summers (and they *are* spectacular). I definitely don't escape the winter doldrums entirely. What saves me, what keeps me staying in this city, are friends, fire, food, and (to break the alliteration while stating the obvious) yoga.

Personally, a sweet and soft restorative yoga practice lit by as many candles as I can muster does wonders to help my head and my heart. If you're finding yourself a little SAD in these bitterly cold and dark days  (Polar Vortex, anyone?), here's a restorative practice sure to soothe the uneasy soul and help you recharge for whatever comes your way.

  1. 5-10 minutes of Pranyama or breath work. Gradually, allow the length of your exhale to be about twice the length of your inhale. Meditate on light, perhaps looking at a candle. 
  2. Tripod Headstand prep, keeping knees and hands on the floor. Roll gently on the crown of your head, massaging the top of the skull. 
  3. Gentle seated twist. Both sides.
  4. Janu Sirsasana (Forehead to Knee Pose), laying a bolster or a couple of pillows along the length of your leg to rest your torso on. 
  5. Wide leg forward fold, bolster or pillows under belly.
  6. Janu on the other side. 
  7. Bridge, either supported (using props) or active.
  8. Shoulder-stand, either supported or active.
  9. Fish Pose
  10. Gentle Supine twist. Both sides.
  11. Supported Supta Baddha Konasana (I added an image below from Yoga Journal, but you can Google images of Supta for lots of support options).

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