Winter Yoga Sequence

Winter is a time of deep stillness and inner reflection.  We can use winter’s introspective energy to gain clarity and insight for the spring cycle of growth and expansion. Willpower and determination is required to look deep into the darkness of this season to face our deepest fears, our hidden realms, and our unconscious minds. In Traditional Chinese Medicine winter is the time when the water element is dominant and the energy in the kidneys and bladder channels becomes the strongest.  If the energy of the kidneys are weak than excess fear may arise or feeling of depression may occur, but if the kidneys are strong than we can access abundant willpower, courage and determination to survive and flourish in this season of darkness.  This 41-step pose sequence will tonify and activate the energy of the kidneys to create the strength, wisdom and courage to do the inner work that winter presents.

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1. Start in Bound Angle

yoga posture A. With the bottom of the feet together, interlace the fingers around the toes. Press down into the hips and up through the crown. Roll the shoulders down and back and press the chest forward.

B. Close the eyes and look up at the third eye point.

C. Breathe and hold for 10-30 breaths.

Optional: use Kapalabhati Pranayama or Bhastrika Pranayama to energize the body and mind.

2. Stay in Bound Angle and make hip circles while moving with the breath

yoga posture A. Keep your fingers interlaced around the toes or hold onto your knees. As you inhale, circle your torso forward while rounding the spine and dropping the head. As you exhale circle back while arching the spine and looking up..

B. Make the circles as small or a big as you like with your eyes soft or closed.

C. Move for 4-8 breaths then reverse the direction of the circles.

Optional: use Whole Body Warmup to further warm up the body.

3. Extend the both legs out into Seated Angle

yoga postureA. Bring the legs out as wide as comfortable. Inhale the arms up and exhale forward, hinging at the hips.

B. Bring the hands to the floor, round the spine and let the head drop towards the floor. To deepen the posture, walk the hands forward.

C. Breathe and hold for 4-12 breaths.

4. Walk both hands to the right leg into Side Seated Angle

yoga postureA. Walk both hands over to the right leg, holding onto the foot or ankle and draw the forehead to the right knee.

B. Relax the arms, shoulders neck and face.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

D. Repeat on the other side. Walk the hands back and roll up the spine.

5. Bring the legs forward with the knees bent into Crab Pose

yoga postureA. Bring the feet flat on the floor, hip width apart, place the hands behind your hips with the finger pointed away.

B. Inhale and lift the hips up towards the ceiling by pressing into the feet and engaging the legs and buttocks. Lift the chest up by pressing down into the arms. Look up or drop the head back.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths

6. Lower the hips and walk the hands forward into Prayer Squat

yoga postureA. Walk the feet wide enough apart to bring the elbows to the inside of the knees with the palms together. Turn the feet outwards.

B. Press the palms together to open the hips, relax the hips down and reach the crown up. Roll the shoulders down and back and press the chest towards the thumbs.

C. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

7. Exhale the hands to the floor and lift the hips up into Forward Fold

yoga postureA. Press the palms flat to the floor and lift the hips up by straightening the legs, if necessary keep the knees slightly bent.

B. Use the arms to press the forehead in towards the legs, use the legs to lift the hips up towards the ceiling.

C. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

8. Step both feet back into Downward Facing Dog

yoga postureA. Step both feet back 3-4 feet, with the heels slightly above the floor. Press firmly into the hands and arms to press the hips back. Let the head hang from the neck.

B. Press the heels into the floor. The legs are straight or can be slightly bent to flatten the back.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.

9. Inhale the right leg up into One Legged Down Dog

yoga postureA. Lift the right leg up reaching the toes to the ceiling.

B.Keep the palms pressing flat, the arms straight and the head hanging down. Gently let the back heel press into the floor.

C. Breathe and hold for 1-3 breaths.

10. Inhale and step the right foot forward into Low Warrior

yoga postureA. Step the foot between the two hands with the knee directly over the ankle. Lower the back knee and top of foot to the floor.

B. Press the legs down into the floor as you lift out of the waist reaching the crown and fingertips up towards the ceiling. Relax the shoulders down from the ears and press the chest forward.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

11. Exhale and release into Half Pyramid

yoga postureA. Release the hands to the floor and straighten the right leg. Lower the head to the knee and adjust the hands to allow you to relax into the pose.

B. To deepen the stretch in the back of the leg, gently draw the foot towards the head.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths. Relase back into a lunge position with the front knee over the ankle.

12. Place palms on floor and step back into Downward Facing Dog

yoga postureA. With the palms flat to the floor, step the feet back and lift the hips up to the ceiling.

B. Press firmly into the hands and arms to press the hips back. Let the head hang from the neck.

C. Press the heels into the floor. The legs are straight or can be slightly bent to flatten the back.

D. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

13. Repeat # 9 through #12 on opposite side

14. Exhale and bend the knees to the floor into Child Pose

yoga postureA. Press the hips to the heels with the tops of the feet flat to the floor. Let the forehead rest on the floor and allow the body to completely relax.

B. Breathe deeply into the belly for 3-6 breaths.

15. Slide the arms forward and scoop into Sphinx

yoga pose A. Press the forearms flat to the floor with the elbows directly under the shoulders to lift the crown up.

B. Relax the shoulders down and back to press the chest forward.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

16. Exhale and lower the chest to the floor, inhale lift into Locust

yoga postureA. Slide the arms alongside the body with the palms down. If comfortable, rock from side to side to bring the arms under the torso.

B. With the chin on the floor, inhale and press the arms and hips down into the floor and lengthen the legs by reaching out through the toes. Engaging the core and lower body, lift the legs up as high as comfortable with out strain.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

17. Place palms under the shoulders and press back into Downward Facing Dog

yoga postureA. Press into the palms and as you inhlae press the hips up and back to the ceiling.

B. Press firmly into the hands and arms to press the hips back. Let the head hang from the neck.

C. Press the heels into the floor. The legs are straight or can be slightly bent to flatten the back.

D. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

18. Reach the right hand to the left leg into Down Dog Twist

yoga postureA. Reach the right hand to the inside or outside of the left ankle and look up under the left armpit.

B. Keep the left arm strong, pressing the palm into the floor. Keep the heels down and the tailbone lifted.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

D. Repeat on the other side.

19. Exhale and press back into Child Pose

yoga postureA. Press the hips to the heels with the tops of the feet flat to the floor. Let the forehead rest on the floor and allow the body to completely relax.

B. Breathe deeply into the belly for 3-6 breaths.

20. From Child, slide the arms forward and scoop into Cobra

yoga postureA. Press the palms flat to the floor directly under the shoulders to lift the crown up. Relax the shoulders down and back to press the chest forward.

B. If the back feels strained, bend the elbows more or slide the hands further forward.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

21. Exhale and lower the chest to the floor, inhale lift into Half Bow

yoga postureA. Slide the right arm over your head and reach the left arm back to hold the left foot or ankle.

B. Inhale and kick the foot and gently pull back with the arm to lift the head and torso off of the floor. Reach forward with the right arm and look up towards the ceiling.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

D. Repeat on the other side.

22. Exhale and press back into Child Pose

yoga postureA. Press the hips to the heels with the tops of the feet flat to the floor. Let the forehead rest on the floor and allow the body to completely relax.

B. Breathe deeply into the belly for 3-6 breaths.

23. Inhale up to knees and and bend back into Camel

yoga posture A. Have knees hip width apart and hands on the low back. Carefully press the hips forward and engage the thighs, buttocks and abs to support you to come into a backbend.

B. If it feels safe, lower the hands to the heels or ankles and drop the head back.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths. With the hands on the low back, carefully roll up the spine.

24. With the hands on the hips, step the left foot out and lower the right hand down into Half Circle

yoga postureA. Interlace the fingers behind the back. Inhale and squeeze the shoulders together, arch the spine and look up. Exhale and hinge at the hips rounding the spine forward.

B. Let the head hang from the neck and press the arms forward over your head.

C. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

D. Inhale back up with the hands on the hips and repeat on other side.

25. Exhale and press back into Child Pose

yoga postureA. Press the hips to the heels with the tops of the feet flat to the floor. Let the forehead rest on the floor and allow the body to completely relax.

B. Breathe deeply into the belly for 3-6 breaths.

26. Slide the hands forward and press up into Downward Facing Dog

yoga postureA. Bring the hands forward shoulder width apart, bring the feet together hip width apart.

B. Press firmly into the hands and arms to press the hips back. Let the head hang from the neck.

C. Press the heels into the floor. The legs are straight or can be slightly bent to flatten the back.

D. Breathe and hold for 4-12 breaths.

27. Step the feet to the hands and inhale up to Mountain

yoga poseA. Inhale and press the feet down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back to open the chest. Relax the face and rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth.

B. Lengthen the inhalation and exhalation by breathing deeply into the belly through the nose. Release any thoughts or distractions and let the mind be focused on the breath.

C. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

28. Inhale and step or jump out into Five Pointed Star

yoga postureA. Step or jump the feet out wide apart with the arms out to the sides. Feet are parallel, directly under the wrists.

B. Press down into the feet, out through the fingertips and up through the crown of the head.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

29. Inhale back up to Five Pointed Star and exhale into Goddess Pose

yoga postureA. Keep the shoulder blades squeezed together as you inhale and roll the spine back up, exhale and release the arms. Bend the elbows out to the sides with the palms facing each other, point the toes out 45 degrees. Exhale and bend the knees lowering the hips down into a squat.

B. Press the hips and chest forward, press the elbows and knees back.

C. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

30. Inhale back to Five Pointed Star and exhale into Standing Angle

yoga postureA. With the toes pointing forward, exhale and fold forward. Interlace the middle and index finger around each big toe and bend the elbows to the side walls as you gently pull the head towards the floor.

B. As you pull the head down, press down into the feet to press the hips up, feeling a lengthening of the spine.

C. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths. With the hands on the hips or reaching out to the sides slowly inhale back up.

31. Step the feet to the hands and inhale up to Mountain

yoga poseA. Inhale and press the feet down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back to open the chest. Relax the face and rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth.

B. Lengthen the inhalation and exhalation by breathing deeply into the belly through the nose. Release any thoughts or distractions and let the mind be focused on the breath.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

32. Inhale and sweep the arms up with palms together

yoga pose A. Stay in Mountain alignment.

B. Look up at the thumbs.

C. Lift out of the waist, reaching up towards the sky.

33. From Mountain, exhale into Utkatasana

yoga pose A. Bend the knees and press the hips back.

B. Arch the spine, press the chest forward and look up at the thumbs.

C. The knees should track directly over the feet, not splaying in or out.

34. Exhale into Squat Twist

yoga pose A. Bring the hands to your heart and twist to the left by placing the right elbow on the left knee. Keep the knees level and pointing forward.

B. Press the elbow into the knee and roll the shoulder back. Look to the side or up over the shoulder.

C. Breathe and hold for 1-4 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

35. Exhale into Forward Fold

yoga postureA. Press the palms flat to the floor and lift the hips up by straightening the legs, if necessary keep the knees slightly bent.

B. Use the arms to press the forehead in towards the legs, use the legs to lift the hips up towards the ceiling.

C. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

36. Bend the knees, roll onto your back and inhale into Bridge

yoga postureA. Bring the feet hip width apart with the toes pointed forward, slide the arms alongside the body with the fingers lightly touching the backs of the heels.

B. Inhale and lift the hips and spine up by pressing into the feet and engaging the lower and core body. Press down into the arms and shoulders to help lift the chest up.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths. Exhale and roll the spine back to the floor.

37. Hold onto the feet and kick into Joyful Baby Pose

yoga postureA. With both knees bent, reach through the insides of the knees to hold onto the outside edges of the feet.

B. Press the heels up as you pull back with the arms to press the low back, shoulders and neck down into the floor.

C. Breathe and hold for 3-5 breaths.

38. Slide the arms out and bend the knees into Belly Twist

yoga postureA. Slide the arms out to the sides in a T position. Keep the knees bent and slowly lower them to the right side, as close to the arm as possible

B. Reach out through the fingers and relax the shoulders down to the floor, turn and look at the left hand.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

D. Repeat on the other side.

39. Bring the bottoms of the feet together into Supine Bound Angle

yoga postureA. Bring the bottoms of the feet together with the heels close to the hips on the floor. Inhale the arms over head with the palms together.

B. Relax and let gravity pull you into the posture. If the hips feel very tight, gently rock the hips from side to side.

C. Breathe and hold for 6-12 breaths.

40. Exhale and release into Shavasana

yoga postureA. Let the arms and legs flop out to the sides. The arms are 6-8 inches from the sides of your body and the palms are facing up.

B. Close the eyes and consciously relax the body from the toes to the crown of the head.

C. Breathe deeply through the nose into the belly and hold for 10-15 minutes.

41. End in Easy Pose

yoga postureA. Bend the knees and slowly roll over to one side. Press up into a seated position.

B. Inhale and press the hips down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back to open the chest. Relax the face and rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth.

C. Lengthen the inhalation and exhalation by breathing deeply into the belly through the nose. Release any thoughts or distractions and let the mind be focused on the breath.

D. Breathe and hold for 10-30 breaths.

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Comments 13

  1. bala – it works fine for me. So it may be an issue with your computer’s settings or your account info. Please contact us directly to resolve this.

  2. I have verified twice now that this page shows fine. If you cannot see it PLEASE CONTACT US DIRECTLY so we can figure out what the issue is with your membership account or your computer settings.

  3. Ok, I got it! I had to go completely out of the sequences section goof around on the site a bit..and poof there it was when I came back. Great looking sequence – going to give it a go in about an hour!
    Namaste
    Jai

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