Many folks have felt as if they needed a
jumpstart all winter, as is often the case. Winter makes us feel
more in need of rejuvenation. Many of us who practice yoga
regularly keep up the whole year, though energy levels, muscles
and bones may not make us feel as enthusiastic about our
practice as on sunny warm days with flowers blooming all around
us and shutters thrown wide open.
Some types of yoga may be more rejuvenating
than others, depending on our age, stage and circumstances.
Restorative yoga comes to mind as one that could gently draw us
out from winter. This yoga uses props like folded blankets,
blocks and straps to ease us in to opening and nurturing yoga
poses for minutes on end.
On the other end of the spectrum to wake our
bodies and it's systems would be the more active forms of yoga
like Ashtanga and Vinyasa. These require time, patience,
practice and a good teacher even for the athletically inclined,
which these particularly suit.
To further wake us up from our winter rest
Kundalini Yoga is a great way to energize and rejuvenate the
system, focusing from the inside out especially focusing on the
breath. Kundalini awakens us to our aliveness from within, our
own unlimited creative potential.
Two particular poses come to mind. The first
is used in most all the forms of yoga and that is shoulder
stand, which we call rejuvenation pose in Kundalini Yoga. This
excellent pose reverses the effects of gravity, energizes the
thyroid gland in the neck which regulates the metabolism and is
great for circulation. Depending on your stage of practice and
body weight the pose may need modification or even a blanket
folded under the shoulders if the neck feels strain. If not
ready to take the back off the floor, simply left the legs us to
take pressure off. possibly up against the wall.
Another pose I have seen in a Kundalini Yoga
set is like a flower opening or blooming. To do this, start
sitting on your heels in baby pose, head on floor and hands by
your head, palms down. On the inhale, rise up on your knees and
open the arms up and back at a sixty degree angle while pressing
the hips forward and chest up. On the exhale come back down to
the baby pose. Repeat this at a graceful pace as long as it
Dancing is another was to get rejuvenated.
When we sweat we activate the glands, the guardians to our
health. Dancing is a release, a way to free ourselves. Dancing
is sometimes included in the Kundalini Yoga sets, arms waving in
the air for minutes on end.
Kundalini yoga works with the energetics of
the body. One of the best ways to get in touch with our energy
is through the breath. Conscious breathing is an integral part
of the Kundalini practice. The breath of fire, a sniffing
diaphragmatic breath with both inhale and exhale through the
nose, is done in many Kundalini poses. To detox with this breath
lay on your back and raise both arms and legs straight up in the
air. Imagine the arms and legs as energy antenna and hold the
arms and legs straight doing breath of fire for up to three
Finally, savasana, or corpse pose, is one of
the best ways to rejuvenate after any yoga practice or by
itself. Surrender your mind and body as completely as you can as
you lay on your back, arms relaxed away from the body, palms up,
and legs open a bit, feet dropped out to the side. Close the
eyes, relax the face and breath, breathing in to the belly
through the nose. Melt the spine in to the support under it, the
earth. And as the earth renews and blooms in Spring, let
yourself do the same.