It is a very snowy morning here in New Hampshire, I am stuck at home instead of teaching a morning class, so I decided to have some fun with it and design a mini class for you with a twist: you can yoga in the fresh, beautifully pristine white snow, a New England Winter Special!
I hope you will enjoy it as much as I had putting it together, Happy Yogi Snow Day!
New England Snow Yoga
Start with Bowing to Mother Nature aka child pose, where you can meditate on how fortunate we are to have yoga in the snow: who needs a heated room anyway?
Next up is snow angels – inhale open wings, exhale close down, repeat several times to gain altitude
Descend back to Earth and come down to walk your dog all fours for a four legged explore: Inhale and arch your back and wag the tail from side to side Exhale, round the back to sniff the ground; Maintaining the 90 degree angle between hips and thighs, thighs and shin, lift leg to fire hydrant several times, alternating right and left; Bring forearms down, stretch your tail up and back, chest to ground and bury your nose in the snow for silly puppy;
Bow to Mother Nature again, then move to down dog and take her around for a morning walk/stretch, occasionally stretching up one leg or the other for 3 legged doggie.
Snow Goddess: standing with your feet 4-5 feet apart, feet slightly turned out inhale arms ¾ of the way up, exhale to squat, bringing elbows down to chest level, forearms in vertical alignment, fingers spread. Repeat several times to pray for more snow. (or the stopping of the snow, if so desired)
Ski pole warrior: grab your ski poles, stand in attention with hands on poles, step the left foot back wide, planting your back foot firmly and bending your front knee above the ankle. Firmly hold onto your ski poles and take 5 to 10 deep breath. Repeat to opposite side.
Ski pole runner stretch: stand in attention with ski poles in hand, plant ski poles firmly in the snow next to your feet. Step left foot 4-5 feet back, stretch your spine up all the way from the tailbone toward the crown of the head. Hinge forward from the hips, reach with the arms for the shat of your poles. As you come further and deeper into your stretch, slide your hands down the pole as far as comfortable.
Ski pole twisty triangle: stand in attention with ski poles firmly planted in the snow next to your feet. Step left foot back 4-5 feet, heel on the ground, bring right arm bent at the elbow behind your back and open your chest. Inhale left arm up toward the sky and on an exhale stretch the body and arm forward from your hip until your body is parallel to the ground with the hips staying square (if your hamstrings are tight, you may not come all the way to parallel, it’s ok). Grab ski pole with left hand and start rotating your body all the way from the base of the spine up toward the right as your hand slides downward the ski pole to its most optimal position. Keep you right arm behind your back and keep opening the chest for 5-6 breaths. Release and repeat to other side.
One legged snowman, aka tree pose. From attention shift weight into left leg, turn right foot out, and on an exhale bend the right kneed, raise the thigh and place right foot against the inside of the left leg at any height, except at the knee joint. Open the chest, lift the heart, drop the tailbone, lift the belly in and up and press the ground away with the standing foot. Bring arms in a snowman appropriate position, breathe and pray you don’t melt. Repeat for other side. Ski poles, scarf, cap, mittens, carrot stick and coals are optional.
Skiing pigeon (standing pigeon/ eagle prep): standing in attention stretch your arms out parallel to the ground in about a 45 degree angle with elbows slightly bent. Plant your ski poles firmly in the snow. Bring the right lower leg across left tight, bend left knee, keep right shin parallel to ground and lower buttocks to “sit” into pose as deep as possible. Keep your spine long, the chest open and the heart lifted and keep “skiing” for 5-6 breaths. Repeat on other side. Warning: do not practice this on a slope, you may end up taking to wings :-).
Bow to Mother Nature one last time and thank her for a beautiful snowy day. Take your final relaxation indoors, unless you insist on getting snowed in lying down outside and enjoy your day to the fullest!