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Health: Warm up to the winter yoga plan

Get your body ready for winter with our guide to specific asanas and breathing techniques. Go on, stretch and exhale!

Mumbai's winters might be a quiet joke that Dilliwallas share among themselves.

However, the slight nip in the temperature around this time of the year could lead to  several health issues. Practising certain yogasanas, especially during this season might offer respite.

Also read: Health and fitness - Embrace yoga for a super sex life

Representative Pic

"Winter should bring more intensity and mindfulness to your yoga practice. Along with more repetitions of Surya Namaskars to warm up the body, pranayams like Surya Bhed that brings balance to the body and Agnisaar that helps improve digestion can also be practiced," suggests city-based yoga instructor Rashmi Ramesh.

"One needs to reduce the rigidity of the body during winter, and asanas will come to your rescue. The most important aspect is to break sweat. Since we sweat less during winter, it helps rid one of the toxins of the body," suggests yoga practitioner Anshuka Parwani (pic below).

Disclaimer: Readers are advised to not follow fitness routines blindly, and to consult an expert before trying out any mentioned here.

Sarvangasana or shoulder stand
Sarvangasana helps improve blood flow to your brain. It helps heal digestive problems and malfunctioning of particular glands. Parwani also suggests trying Dhanurasana and Bhujangasana or the Cobra pose this season.


Pic Courtesy/Anshuka Yoga

How to?
>> Lie on your back.
>> Raise your legs and buttocks to the ceiling and support your back with your hands, elbows on the ground.
>> Bring your chest closer to the chin.
>> Take help of a wall if the pose seems difficult.

Anjanayasana
Anjanayasana is good to strengthen and warm up the joints. It helps loosen the hamstrings and quadriceps and is also a great chest opener.

Rashmi Ramesh
Rashmi Ramesh

How to?
>> Lunge forward with the left leg on the floor.
>> Inhale as you raise and join your palms above your head keeping the elbows straight and the right knee at a right angle.
>> Repeat the procedure with the left leg.

Trikonasana

Trikonasana
Pics/Datta Kumbhar

Apart from stretching the spine, waist, hamstrings, inner thighs, chest and hips, it helps reduce back pain and sciatica. It improves digestion, overall stamina and focus.
How to?
>> Stand with your feet about three and a half ft apart. Point your right foot outward and your left foot straight.
>> Drop your right hand to the right ankle and raise your left hand to the ceiling as you exhale.
>> With your hand stretched up, look towards your left palm.
>> Repeat the procedure with the left leg.

Pre-natal yoga
Rashmi, who specialises in yogalates and pre-natal yoga tells us, "For pregnant ladies, the hormones are already raging to create more heat in the body. So, one could practice more Restorative Yoga, using props for balance and support." Rashmi however advises against pranayams that need you to hold your breath in for long.

pre-natal yoga

Supta Baddha Konasana
This is a great restorative pose for pregnant ladies. Also known as the Goddess Pose, it is very relaxing when done with props (in pic). It helps to open up the hips, releases tension in the spine and deepens the breath.

Also read: Bollywood celebs stress on importance of fitness on Yoga Day

Marjarasan  
Marjarasan or the cat stretch, done on hands and knees, is a great warm up for the spine and a stretch for the abdominal muscles to give the baby more room inside. Pelvic rotations are also great in this position, keeping the hands and knees more apart than usual during pregnancy.

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