Winter Ayurveda Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Day 3: Winter Essentials

60 min - Practice


We come away from the ground in the Winter to develop more heat. In Day 3, move dampness out of the lungs and chest with dynamic upper body twists and opening, energize the front and back body with rhythmic Sun Salutes, and enliven the core with a standing balance series and Boat variations. We close with a pranayama practice to help you feel alert and awake before returning to your day.

Your Self Care Homework Challenge for Day 3:

    Try these nutrition modifications for the Winter season:

  • Warm Breakfast: In Ayurveda, we bring in opposite qualities to find balance, so in the colder months we introduce warm foods.
  • Soup for Dinner: In addition to being warming, soup is light and easy to digest. Having soup for dinner by 7pm will allow your evening meal to be digested before bedtime. Check out Melina's recipe for Ginger Miso Soup in her blog, Seasonal Wellness - Winter Edition.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Strap, Block

About This Video


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Hello, everyone. Welcome to day three of the Ayurveda Winter Challenge. I'm so delighted to have you back with us to practice. Today, Mingus the cat will be joining us for a few moments I suspect. Oh, he's already learned everything he needs to learn. But maybe the rest of you want to hang out and we're going to do a practice starting in the seated position, which we haven't done yet for this series. I just wanted to introduce different ways that we might start a class from standing to reclined to sinning and open up our bodies a little bit in the seated position close to the floor for some grounding, move into some core work, of course, to keep good circulation and metabolism. We'll get our sun salutations in in class today, and then do some balance poses to increase our focus and concentration. And then do some fun flowy work to get us back to the ground into our core and into a nice reflective space for meditation. So for class today, a blanket will be helpful one block and one strap for some part of class. So as I mentioned, we're going to start sitting. So when you're ready, perhaps flip your blanket around and fold it once or twice. So it gives you some cushion some support. I'm going to start in a cross legged seats. And if that works for you, please come into a cross legged seats. If you're at home, and it's better for you to be sitting in a chair, please bring yourself more to the front of a chair that's better for you. I always encourage you to wiggle around a little bit in your seats to make sure your support is doing its job to hold you. And when we feel like there's a dropping into your posture, a sinking into the pose, they welcome that heaviness in the legs, the pelvis, the sit bones. As we explore lengthening the curves of the spine without moving into a really big backbend. So just considering a little bit elongation as we root down. You might start with your eyes open, looking down over the tip of the nose. Perhaps if you did the candle gazing practice yesterday, you can kind of even almost imagine or reimagine that candle flame, that light. And imagine you carry that light with you as you maybe consider closing your eyes or keep your eyes open to continue to allow light to come in. Imagine that light comes in towards your heart center. And maybe brightens your intention today of what you might want to focus on a little bit more to stay engaged in your practice or to simply make this time a little more meaningful today. What's something that you might cultivate to brighten your spirit today. And then taking a few deeper fuller breaths, just letting that idea settle. Perhaps starting to feel a little wave of movement into your belly as you're breathing in and out, aware of the support of the ground underneath you, but the spine vertical. So maybe we're having to pay a little more attention. Stay a little more awake with her spine off the floor in meditation. Take two more breaths as you are here. All right, let's open the eyes if they close, take your hands off your knees and down towards the floor. Just imagine you're going to root your fingertips into the floor for a moment. Let's turn your nose to the left for a moment. Bring your head back to center, turn your nose to the right, and then back to center, chin up towards the ceiling and then chin down towards your chest. As you come back up to center and the head goes to the left, let your head this time go back and to the right and then forward and make some very small little circles trying to decrease any tension or popping. We do these a lot in my series to get rid of any stiffness in the neck. Let's go the opposite direction a couple times with your neck, jaw releasing from upper palate, eyes relaxing into the face. Let's dial it back into center. Let's go ahead and bring your fingertips up to the upper corners of your chest and we'll take your elbows up and forwards and make those circles with your elbows up and forward. We can feel that there's maybe a better range of motion in your shoulders today. Even if we did this yesterday, how does it feel today in your shoulders? Let's go in the opposite direction a few times, up and back. Today, how is this creating maybe more space across your chest? We'll keep your elbows up in the air and now let your hands slide a little wider now to touch the sides of your head or back of your heads. See if we can lift a little bit more through the chest as your pelvis tilts forward and we look a little up, let yourself rock back in your pelvis and we're going to look towards the navel as you round your spine like you're doing cow rock forward in your pelvis and look up and exhale and round. This time bring your elbows towards each other, maybe the touch, then let those little elbow wings open wide as you look up, elbows come together to touch as you look towards navel, rock forward, lift your chest, look up and maybe just a tiny bit more quickly. Exhale and inhale, exhale and inhale even if you're not rocking quite as much in the pelvis. Couple more back and forth. Let's come up to neutral. Tip to the left and put your left hand down on the floor and with your hand pressing lightly, your head pressing lightly into your hand open that side of your chest. Let's look down to the floor now as your right arm reaches across the room and maybe reach so far forward your right hand touches the ground and then take your arm back up and then spring that hand back to the back of the head. Tilt all the way back up to center and then take your right hand down, swing your left arm over heads, reach across the room and then take that left hand to the back of your head, press your head into your hand open that side of the chest. Let's reach out at an angle touch the floor with your left hand and inhale come back up and around. I'm adding all kinds of layers. Let's try that again. Bring your left hand out to your side, right arm over heads, bend that right elbow touch the back of the head with your hand and then press your head into your hand open your chest. Right arm reaches out at an angle in front of you as you look down touch the floor with your right hand and take that right hand back up into the air and let's tip right back to neutral. Slide that right hand out to the side, left arm comes up, bend your elbow touch the back of your head, press the head into the hand open the chest, reach your left arm out touch the floor and look down. Left arm circles maybe all the way back around so we're back to neutral. Alright now let's go ahead swing your arms straight up into the air above your shoulders turn towards your left knee and hold. Let's take the left hand into the small of your lower back and reach up higher with your right hand. Right hand comes down to your left knee and lengthen through your spine and then consider turning your nose to the left. Unwind both arms up in the air above your shoulders turn to your right leave your arms up take your right hand into the small of your lower back and then take your left hand to your right knee and maybe deepen the twist as you turn your nose to the right. Arms come all the way back up again turn to your left knee keep those arms up left hand to the small of the lower back right hand to left knee lengthen your spine and turn. Arms back up exhale arms stay up as we turn to the right left hand to your right knee right hand into the small of the lower back deepen that twist as you turn your nose all the way back up one more time arms stay up as you turn to your left right hand down left hand into the small of the lower back twist arms overhead keep your arms up as you turn to your right left hand to right knee right arm around your back lengthen your spine then twist both arms come back up and then arms down at your side and start to reach back for whatever you might be sitting on and let's slide that out of the way so you can take your hands behind you and send your feet a little bit in front of you we're going to lean a little bit back so that you can tip your legs side to side it doesn't matter which side you're going to just go side to side little windshield wiper leg movement and maybe that also feels a little bit like you're massaging your outer hips and glutes maybe that's happening too you know we're going to keep our legs tilted to the left and if this right leg doesn't bend so well stretch your right leg more out in front of you if you can bend that leg tuck your foot under your pelvis left hand to your side right arm parallel to the floor let's follow your right hand to the left and look out over your right fingertips your right buttock should be lifted bend your right elbow drop your right buttock and pull that right elbow back over your shoulder follow your right hand to the left bend your right elbow follow it behind you open your chest hey feel into your rhythm do you go faster or slower this isn't an ancient yoga pose again so you kind of make it your own and what way can this create more space in your back body and what way does this help you make more space as you open your chest next time we bring the elbow right in front of you pause take your left hand back behind you your fingertips facing away from your buttock so we can swing your right arm up by your cheek lift your buttock off the floor and look down towards your back left wrist so you're moving your hips forward and maybe getting a nice stretch through the front of your low belly and so as area drop your right arm down in front of you and we'll come back to center we're going to swing the legs over to your other side and as you swing your feet to the left if your left leg doesn't bend well that leg stays straight or bend the leg and tuck the foot under the buttock right arm to your side left arm parallel to the floor follow your left hand to the right bend your left elbow pull it back behind you follow your left hand to the right look over those fingertips look back over your shoulder you play around with your rhythm moving different parts that need to move so you feel stable as you reach out almost parallel to the floor are you moving in a way that helps you create more space in your back body or more opening in your chest now let's go ahead and keep your arm in front of you slide your right hand more directly behind your sacrum fingers face away from you and then reach for the ceiling with your left hand and then lift your pelvis move your hips forward as you look back down towards your left hand one more big breath opening that front body swing your left arm down in front of you as we exit all right now let's go ahead and swing the legs and front of you that across the ankles and then roll over to tabletop position where you might grab your blankets to have some padding for your knees I still love that and if you have your knees about hip distance apart hands spread wide open under your shoulders press a little more firmly into your palms as you wag your tail side to side just to orient yourself to those corners of your body and then while looking down or with your eyes maybe even slightly closed start to circle through your hips up into your lower back circling up towards the base of your rib cage see if you can circle or move your ribs in a way where you feel contact front back right and left so all those different corners of your ribs have been touched into and then move your shoulder blades and then we'll take a little pause all right now in that little pause slide your left hand one hand print forward and then we're going to take your right hand and reach over to the left like you reaching under the bed for something and drop the side of the right head to the floor if that's too far to bring your head down please insert a block under the right side of the head you don't have to come down quite so far press into your left hand again more firmly now and slide your hips back away from your shoulders see if you can make more contact with your ankles and your shins with the ground so that you're more clearly aligning your hips above your knees and maybe as you press your shins and ankles down we get a more complete stretch through your upper mid back maybe even through your outer right shoulder and this pose sometimes takes just a moment or two to find that right spot where you wonder why does everybody teach this pose and eventually you find that spots that helps you get rid of some tension along the back body and maybe it's something that you enjoy each day a little bit more let's bring that left hand back towards your face come back up to tabletop look forward as you inhale curl your toes under as you exhale round your spine lift your knees with bent knees and just a moment knees up drop the knees back down look forward exhale rounding the spine knees up put your hips up and back a warm up down dog knees down look forward last time lift your knees as you round your back I'm off the floor with those knees and then knees down we're in tabletop and now let's take your right hand one handprint forward follow your left hand over to the right as you turn your head sideways again if this side it feels too far to come down put a block under your head and eventually we look towards those left fingertips press more firmly into your right hand to actually send your hips back away from your shoulders and then see if you can feel what your shins and ankles are doing and encourage them to root down and see if that gives you a little bit more clarity and feedback up into your upper mid back or even outer left shoulder and when your shins are rooting down might even notice a little bit more belly engagement so we're decreasing the backbend and focusing on more elongation through your torso through your spine and just seeing if we've made enough little wiggle adjustments to find again some benefit here in this pose let's go ahead when you're ready and maybe slide your right hand towards your face so you can come back up towards tabletop right now stretch your legs back one at a time so you end up and push up of plank knees again off the floor and then from your plank pose let your weight shift forward and back this forward and back and maybe even feel like you stretch your calves as you get your heels to shift back in the winter time I like to do lots of poses where I'm balancing them away from the ground versus in the fall we spend maybe more time on the ground for grounding and we come away from the ground to develop a little heat more frequently in the practice in winter so let's lower your knees down maybe that's enough come down onto your belly and if you will slide your hands beside your chest and point your toes straight back to the back of your yoga mat we'll lower your forehead just above the floor so if you will lift your hands off the ground so it's a hands-free backbends and start to lift your face and chest as you inhale just an inch or two and then lower the face and chest back down hands still float as we inhale come up and exhale as we lower down let's do a few more and again maybe you're noticing we don't lift all that far when we're not using our hands and we lower let's do one more lift and now slide your hands out outside your yoga mat line come up to the tips of your fingers notice your fingertips are in line with your chest let's raise your face the chest curls up let's turn your nose to the left so your right ear comes down to the floor lift your head and chest look straight down turn your head to the right so the left ear comes down to the floor press your feet down lift up look down the center line of your mat turn your nose to the left and bring the right side of the head down inhale curl up look down the tip of your nose turn your nose to the right left ear to the floor come all the way up doesn't have to be a lot now release your hands back towards your sacrum lace your fingers and squeeze between your shoulder blades as you roll your chest away from the ground look down the tip of your nose so you're where the neck is part of the spine that you're elongating one more squeezing between your shoulder blades right now let's go ahead and release your hands down beside your chest press yourself up towards tabletop and if we bring your knees back as we'll touch down here knees on the blanket hands maybe and handprint forward of tabletop so as we curl the toes under look forward on in breath do maybe our audible exhale as we round the back pull the belly in and come back into downward dog take a pause after your exhale belly stays hugged into the back knees down look forward on inhale exhale all the breath out round pull belly in send your knees up hips up and back down dog one more knees down look forward inhale exhale round at the end of the exhale hold belly in keep your hips up and bring your feet a little closer together so we did forearm version yesterday he did the challenge we're going to swing your left leg up maybe just a little higher than the pelvic floor height put the left foot down and then take your right leg up a little higher than the pelvis right foot down take your left leg up and feel that left glute hamstring turn on left foot down take your right leg up so it's a three-legged dog right foot down one more time swing your left leg up feel that glute turn on foot comes down and then right leg goes up and then down if you can balance and take that blanket out of the way if you have one move your blanket out of the way come up to the top of your mat walk your feet forward slightly bend your knees as you fold over your legs and then come up the best way for you to stand all the way up to standing okay so as promised each day we'll do a little bit of sun salute so if you'll bring your feet close together or parallel look straight ahead to your horizon line and today we'll do a little bit of surya namaskar b as you're ready we're gonna bend your knees raise your arms up towards your ears and come into a chair pose from chair tip forward and touch the ground with your hands as you fold towards your legs lengthen your spine forward as you step back one leg at a time into your plank push up come down to the floor knees belly chest and when your toes point back curl your chest up cobra press into downward facing dog as you exhale and take a step forward with your right foot for warrior one put your back foot down take your arms up any way that feels good for you look up higher than your horizon hands come back to pass your right knee to the floor and we step back to plank lower down knees belly chest inhale coming up through cobra back to your downward facing dog left foot comes forward towards your wrist warrior one with your back foot down bring your arms up anywhere you're comfortable look above your horizon hands past your left knee to the floor back through push up of plank you can skip coming down and go to downward dog or come down to the floor curling up through your backbend and into downward facing dog again this sequence is meant to be again something that's warming something that's going to build some strength also flexibility and if we need those variations we always drop our elbows to the floor or bend the knees those can be helpful let's walk forward put your feet parallel or touching for chair pose circle the arms up on in breath straighten both legs as you lower your hands to your chest all right so hopefully I get better with practice so let's come through chair pose drop the hands down sweep them up back to your forward fold exhale stepping back rather than jumping back perhaps plank pose knees belly chest come down cobra or cobra into upward dog if that's in your practice to press off the floor maybe knees down as we transition to downward dog right foot comes forward we'll do our warrior one arms circle up or come up any way comfortable hands past your right knee to the floor feel your transition through plank knees belly chest we come down or we're in downward dog perhaps cobra upward dog ideas knees down as you head back tabletop downward dog left foot forward see if this routine starting to kind of bake in your muscle memory reach forward and up hands past that left knee to the floor and we're in plank pose if you like swing your hips to down dog or come down to the floor cobra or up dog back into your down dog and if you don't put weight on your hands or you need the other variation we could be on elbows forearm version take those full exhales and see if you can encourage your belly to stay hugged in towards your back to help you get a little more lift and length from your legs and into your spine bring your feet forward right between your hands bend those knees deeply chair pose circle all the way back up straight legs hands in front of your chest right back through chair inhale sweep up forward fold spine lengthens forward we step back through plank pose down to the floor knees belly chest inhale cobra or other variations downward facing dog exhale right foot forward warrior one hands come down past your front knee when you're ready big exhales you step into plank pose knees belly chest to the floor little backbends back through downward dog left foot forward towards your wrist warrior one circling arms up hands past that left knees we come to the floor plank pose knees belly chest down or maybe you're in down dog or resting curl up then back to downward dog notice if this sequence is doing its job to warm you up feel connected to some of those bigger outer muscles of your body other breath in another breath out gradually bring your feet forward back up between your hands wiggle your feet together as we come down through chair pose inhale arms circle up and then all the way up into straight legs and invite your hands to come down in front of your chest so we'll take a little pause observing again the effects of the sun salutations so it's nice to notice again there are fact to know when we might want to do movement like that if we feel or cold or feeling sluggish it's nice to do a little practice to wake up when you're ready let your arms come down to your side and we're going to take a big step out to face the long end of your mat as you wiggle your feet maybe just a little bit wider than your shoulders we'll still do some invigorating work here as we pull the heels in bend your knees and come into a little bit more of a higher squat shape all right from this high squat shape let's bring your arms out to the side then up and as we come up now let's straighten your legs take a big inhale and let your right arm cross over your exhale give yourself a hug and as you exhale tilt forward till you're parallel to the floor and squat arms circle wide inhale up exhale left arm over your right arm bend your knees give yourself that hug and tilt forward inhale release those arms swing up again right arm over left it may be a more audible exhale hold forward inhale come up look towards the ceiling the sky left arm over right hug yourself tilt forward inhale come up this last time maybe eagle arms or give yourself a hug right arm on top exhale squat tilt forward unwind those arms inhale reach up left arm over right could be eagle arms or a big hug exhale fold forward unwind those arms inhale all the way up and now let your arms come out parallel to the floor turn your heels out so your toes face straight ahead and a tip forward and bring your fingertips down to touch the floor under your shoulder line so feet don't need to be all that far apart right hand underneath the line of your face as you swing your left arm out parallel to the floor look to the left bring your left hand down swing your right arm out look towards the right hand notice your heels are on the floor both hands down and go ahead one more time raise your left arm out to the left look sideways or take the hand higher left hand down right arm out to the side parallel or take the hand higher and come on down and now walk your hands in a little closer towards your yoga mats reach your right hand over for your outer left knee and if we're going to imagine we're going to reach the left hand for your right knee you might bring your right leg closer so you can hold on to the sides of the knees or the calves I love this one for continued stretch for the shoulders so bend your knees a little bit hold on to the sides of the knee or the calf arms are crossed press into your feet and lift your pelvis towards the ceiling straightening the legs a little bit as you point your head down towards the floor let's see if you can feel like you're still pushing out into your hands really grounding your feet as your head comes down one more big breath here and then go ahead on bend your knees let go of the ankles or calves and sweep your arms wide and take yourself all the way up to standing and let your arms come down as you exhale turn your heels in turn your toes out and come back into that bent knee position finishing the twist with your hands twisting over to the left and the hands coming to the right and imagine kind of tapping your outer hip buttock as you're going down low tap tap tap as you twist no tap a little higher up around your belly area side of the waist stay in that squat position and then tap higher one hand in front one hand in the back this little twist then go back down if you will tapping along your waist lower back buttocks all right and then come back to center please straighten both of the legs let your feet slide a little wider apart now and then turn your right foot out to the right raise your arms out to your side parallel to the floor and start to bend that right knee toward 90 degrees slide your right hand down your inner leg and as you slide down stretch across the room with that left arm let's go ahead and come all the way back up to warrior two and again reach to your right side slide your hand down your inner leg as far as you're comfortable as you reach across the room slide back up one more time slide your right hand down your leg stretch across the room and let's take that right arm down in front of you sorry left arm down in front and even slide around to center with your feet pressed into the floor walk your hands back to drop the top of the head towards the floor so we've got that little forward folds the head lower than the heart that's not good for you keep your spine parallel to the floor otherwise take one more exhale eyes are open as we tip forward top of the head points down up halfway bring your feet closer together so you can transfer hands to thighs lift all the way back up turn your left foot out to the left bend your left knee and raise your arms as you adjust your feet for your warrior to left hand slides down the left leg as you reach across the room with your right hand press into your feet come back up to warrior two and literally grab the inside of that right left leg as your hand slides down reach across the room slide back up warrior two one more time sliding down reach across the room and now let's go ahead and raise your back heel and turn towards the short end of your mouth we'll do a little flow of coming into plank pose coming down again knees belly chest to the floor and come through your little vinyasa just to connect again to the whole body back to downward dog one more big in breath one more big out breath let's bring your feet back up towards your hands feet may be parallel or as wide as your wrist slightly bend the knees as you fold forward and then inhale rise all the way up from bent legs to straight legs and bring your hands down in front of your chest right now as we inhale let's go ahead and drop our arms down to our side and find out where your strap might be grab your strap we're going to unroll that and let's use that underneath your right left foot when you put your foot in the strap get the loose ends if you will and even them out for as close as you can so they're even and take that left hand down the leg to grab the strap as you pick up your left foot look forward in front of you and walk your left hand towards your foot and then take your knee further back as we would for dancers pose and then maybe you've got your strap in the right place where you can slide your hands to the ends lift both arms up into the air and reach your hands towards the back of your head where we want to collect the straps so we're holding the the left leg up with the strap we've got the hands walking down towards your left foot and if you fall promise to let go of the strap immediately so see if you can find a nice balance of lifting your elbows towards the ceiling lifting your left foot towards the sky or towards the back of your head and just finding a little bit more energy lightness joy as we lift the chest towards the sky eyes look just above the horizon one more big breath exploring what's possible here in your dancers pose you slowly release the strap with the left hand right hand and release your left foot down when your feet meet the ground you might make a few little hula hoop circles and so it's kind of a continuation of dancers from yesterday's class then please put your right foot in the strap about the center make sure your ends are pretty even right hand gets the strap as you look forward and pick up that right foot slides your hands to the end of the strap as you raise your left arm up in the air then the right arm above your head you got your strap ends then walk your hands down closer to your right foot it's okay to have your left hand on a wall also now try to lift your elbows towards the ceiling slightly kick your left foot into the strap and try to go for a more of a vertical version of dancer versus tipping forward parallel to the floor so we're trying to keep the chest up eyes look a little bit above the horizon to bring in more light more joy potentially into this moment one more breath here slide your hands up the strap and let go the strap and bring your right foot down to the floor all right so hopefully that's the most exciting part of class so far let's put the strap down give a little shake out of your hands your legs and then as we turn maybe I'm going to turn the face along end of the mat just give a little bounce in the whole body shake out the legs arms arms up to the side shaking get rid of any tension we might be holding bounce the legs a little winter shake a couple more breaths I know it might be silly to do this but it feels pretty good when you're done after a little bouncing trying to work on circulation to find squeaky spots on the floor sorry about that if you're hearing that all right let's just settle down now and just notice how that feels as we transfer towards the floor we're gonna have a seat and this is where you'll want your one block as we have that seat coming down maybe about to the center of the mat slide your block as we've done between your feet as we've done in some of the other classes and if I can have you take your hands back again as a starting place palms on the floor chest area opened and we're going to lift that block up again off the floor and this is just extra training to engage the core from inner legs up towards the belly and bring the feet down keep looking that same direction towards your feet as the legs come up and down squeeze your block legs go up down and now if you like keep your legs up reach your hands out towards your legs if you want to add that little extra work squeeze the block and then go ahead put your feet down hands behind you and lift your pelvis up and come to that reverse tabletop lift your hips stretch your knees forward look up and then exhale have a seat let's move that block out of the way for a moment stretch your left leg straight and we'll take your right foot to the outside of your left leg hold on to your knee for a moment with your hands and sit up straight as you hold that right knee some of you might take your lower left leg that bends well take your left heel to the outer right hip and we'll adjust the legs to have go mukhasana legs so the knees are more stacked if you have a straight lower leg see if you might pull your right foot a little further back towards your hip so your right knee drops towards the left knee I'll show the straight leg version here hold on to your foot with your left hand right fingertips on the floor and whatever version you're choosing might you tip a little bit forward from the hips and eventually we'll get to the waist and upper body but can you feel your pelvis start to slightly roll forward if it's not happening please sit on a folded blankets or even consider a block and the blankets underneath you looking down towards the floor trying to release some tension that might live on the back of that left hamstring or right hip let's lift up and out take both legs in front of you point your toes straight ahead slide your hands back behind you and now think of tabletop position porvo tenasana with bent elbows do we come up to straight arms float the hips up and then come back down let's try your second side now so let's take your left leg to the right hold on to your left knee with your hands sit up nice and tall for a moment either stay with this leg variation or see if the right leg bends will pull the foot to outer left hip and then adjust your feet away from your hips so that your knees stack a little bit more over each other if you had the lower leg straight same idea can you tuck your left foot towards your outer right hip so knees are more stacked now I'll show the bent leg version please hold on to both feet or you're holding the foot in the floor root down through your sit bones and hands and see if there might be a little bit of room to tip forward and not so much with your shoulders but can you tip from your pelvis and maybe we got a rock back to know what it's like to try to rock forwards stay to the front of the pelvis and then maybe we get a little more leaning action of the shoulders bringing your attention towards those places that feel a little bit stiff and maybe that quality of water helps to smooth out some rough places some rough edges and then let's go ahead and come out hands behind you again stretch your legs out straight point your toes away from the knees and with your arms behind you fingers face the pelvis either stay here or lift up maybe now with straight arms pelvis to the sky look towards the ceiling and then we come back down to the floor now let's slide both feet in towards your pelvis and instead of pulling them in as far as they can go I want to invite you to send them maybe just a tad forward of that bocasana reach forward maybe catch your toes to keep them warm for a moment squeeze them together and see if your hands literally can keep your feet a little warmer see if we can tip to the front of the pelvis almost like you're making a little back bend shape for some of us in our spine and see if our elbows might slide a little bit forward towards the front of our shins and as we tilt forward in that way is the pelvis coming along for the rides if not we might keep the spine more vertical the pelvis is moving along with us will tilt a little more parallel to the floor maybe eyes still open as we look down and finding perhaps deeper sensation in the hips if you feel it other places just let your attention in your breath go to where you feel maybe there's some stiffness or some rough edges that we might smooth out here and then let's go ahead lift your spine up use your hands to help you bring those knees all the way back together all right let's hold on to the back of the legs and with your arms now reaching straight out in front of you as you exhale start to work your way back in little increments without rushing little increments see how long it might take you to bring yourself back down to the floor little increments and eventually you're down when you come down let's go ahead and hug your knees in towards your chest and you can move your block out of the way to the side because we'll want to use that shortly so hug your knees in and if it's helpful we'll tip side to side massaging any of those low back areas that need a little extra attention you hug the knees in one more moment we'll take that pause let's unlace the fingers now if you're ready put your feet on the floor and we can reclaim your block lift your hips up and insert the block underneath your pelvis and either the flat or the medium position my blocks pretty small so I'm going to use the medium but maybe it's more like a flat block for many of you so what feels comfortable to have the the hips up let your arms be out to your sides and as your arms are out to your side if you feel stable now let's tip your knees in towards your chest this is one of the legs up the wall alternatives you're welcome to keep your knees bent here or swing your legs up towards the ceiling so we have the alternative to legs up the wall and see if your feet like to be a little bit apart there's kind of floating in space and hopefully this will be a little bit soothing calming as we feel more contact upper back shoulders melting into the floor and when we don't have a wall to put our legs on it's a little bit more work for the hips and maybe just the right amount towards the end of class to give our legs a little rest so notice whatever little sensations we feel with the legs up in the air sensations in your ankles or calves eyes maybe even the belly and if we can say just a little bit longer sometimes it feels better with time I like to move the ankles and toes around just to make sure they're not stiff while my legs are up in the air all right now if we let the legs bend we're going to stay with the bridge shape so if your feet come down to the floor and you sense that your back's a little tighter grippy go to the flatter heights those of you that know yourself well enough you might have more blocks or blanket on top of your block if you like more padding or height now see if you could let your feet here be wide enough that you're not gripped or tense at the front of your hips and that maybe this feels okay in your lower back as we consciously let go of any tension we might be holding there so we can use this as a little bit of a restorative pose and the kind of pose that you settle into that allows your eyes to soften a little bit more into your face the kind that helps you to smooth away some maybe creases or tension lines in the face you kind of feel when your lower jaw releases from the upper palate there's a release through the tongue all the way down to your sternum maybe there's a little bit of settling behind your sternum as the back of the lungs start to drop gradually towards the floor a sense of release into your low back and the kidney area and maybe feeling a little bit more fluidity and ease as we observe that lower abdomen moving up and down lower abdomen moving up and down as we breathe possible staying maybe for about five more breaths softening into the shape there's no right or wrong way to do it and at some point you might feel complete when you feel complete we might bring the feet in a little closer towards the block so it's a little easier to lift your hips up and slide that block out of the way and you slowly come down and spark yourself in neutral for a moment with legs still bent shoulders back now against the floor let's bring that left knee towards your chest give it a squeeze in and stretch your right leg for a moment down to the floor let's take a moment and switch out hold your right knee and stretch your left leg down to the floor all right now as we stretch your right leg down to the floor open your legs out to the side arms out to the side and before we go all the way into shavasana if you can be on your back for a moment i'm going to invite you to make some fists with your hands and squeeze your arms muscles to the arms muscles to the bones tight raise your arms and legs up and squeeze everything super super tight wrinkle up the face everything tense and then audible exhale drop down into the floor everything relaxed again squeeze everything tight opposite relax raise your shoulders up towards your ears lift your legs your arms everything tight hold wrinkle the face tight tight tight tight tight and let go exhale and now maybe without actually lifting off the ground you do a little inner squeeze and relax tension maybe a subtle squeezing in to then create more softness and flow and eventually staying in that state where it feels like we've squeezed out all the tension in place where it feels easy to breathe feel like the water element is unified all your parts there's enough warmth in the body to keep that water element fluid one of the essential things to consider in the winter time maintain good circulation for good health just keep that water element flowing and sometimes with more dynamic movements so now may we treat ourselves here to again soak in the presence of this moment and the next and become more of a witness more of an observer to what's happening moment by moment and give ourselves a quiet time of Shavasana for a few minutes we'll be quiet together appreciating that element of space.

While appreciating that support underneath you see if you might explore slightly fuller breath in and out through nose exhale through the mouth slide your heels and towards your buttocks legs are bent carefully rolling over to any side whenever you're ready maybe after this next breath cycle from your side at some point tip yourself all the way back up I'm going to grab my blanket slide that back underneath the buttocks for a little bit of height to help the pelvis tilt forward and maybe we transfer the essence of that Shavasana now again up off the floor maybe the energy we've created today is going to be helpful for your day move towards what brings you joy you must bring the hands in front of the heart center in your upright position acknowledging the steps you've made so far and the challenge for the yoga practice or the self-care that you're doing this week acknowledging that effort and then may others also benefit from our practice namaste thanks so much for being here today for the yoga portion I look forward to seeing you tomorrow and those of you that are expanding your wellness toolkit this winter and refreshing that idea of a good night's sleep this week hydrating in the morning when you wake up we've done sun salutations check done that for the day introduce the candle gazing meditation for your morning practice introduce dry brushing as a way to exfoliate and bring more heat out towards the surface more circulation and the invitation to be with people to keep your spirits high and to avoid isolation and depression in the winter by staying connected to people you love and the piece I wanted to add today was to consider two pieces and they both deal with food and the pieces to consider from this day on until it starts to warm up where you live is to consider having warm breakfast each day when it's chilly in the morning in our Evita we like to bring in the opposite quality so bring in warm when it's cold so that could be warm mixed grains it could be a bowl of kitchri it could be actually a bowl of soup or eggs and greens I would also say last resort avocado toast would be a warm food also in the morning and then in the evening the invitation would be to try to have soup in the evenings every day this week or for the whole month for that matter and to try to have your soup your dinner by seven o'clock so that way it's digested by the time you try to go to bed by ten o'clock so today's challenge would be to add more meals warm breakfast from here on out and considering these soup meals which are lighter easier to digest to help you ensure that you're getting that good night's sleep so that you're super productive in the daylight hours in the winter time alright so I hope that's helpful to give you some pointers to how to grow yourself care practices you can always check out my book the seasonal health and wellness for a little bit more guidance around those practices if you'd like support and I look forward to seeing hopefully you tomorrow for the next day in our challenge have a wonderful rest of the day thanks again for being here bye everybody


5 people like this.
I truly enjoyed this session, thank you Melina for wonderful practice. I love the squat/self hug and wide legged folds to stretch shoulders! Great reminder to eat dinner by 7pm to aid in digestion and "ideal" sleep practice to wind down by 10. Thank you for sharing gentle tips at the end of asana portion.  Looking forward to tomorrow and checking out your book!
This was a great practice for warming up! I don't have to go to the gym after this practice! Thanks, Melina, and kind regards!
Love these seasonal five day challenges! Thank you Melina Meza and Yoga Anytime staff! Love to do a thirty day or 21 day challenge with her at the beginning of each season in 2021-2022. We have done summer, fall, winter and look forward to spring and possibly more days of it in future seasons. Thank you for sharing your gifts!
Thank you sweet friends for your comments and for DOING the practice! I hope these Ayurvedic ideas continue to steer you towards greater health and connection to the wisdom of nature around you. I look forward to wrapping up our year of 5 day challenges this spring and perhaps planing seeds for a longer version of this moving forward! Happy holidays to you all.
1 person likes this.
Thank you Melina for bringing the joy in this winter💖 namaste 🙏
I love this series . I found it as Im recovering  from a psoas syndrome  and goin back to beginnings is heping. it is like being  in the winter  of my practice . thank you.

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