I never notice quite how much I miss the sun during our Midwest winters until there is that one random day in February when it peeks out. On that day, I always stand outside, eyes closed, usually in short sleeves (even though it is still 35 degrees out) and try to soak in as much of I can. Afterwards, I feel like a different person- more vibrant, calmer, happier. It is always then when I realize how much I MISS the sun when it goes into hibernation for the winter, and how the vitamin D, for me, is stronger and more immediate than any anti-depressant I’ve ever taken (which is more than one!).
So in this season of cold and dark, I thought we could call in some sun with Sun Salutations.
- Start in Tadasana, or Mountain Pose. Standing with feet are hip width apart, arms relaxed and to the sides, feeling the energy from the Earth coming up through the soles of the feet, rooting and grounding you.
- Inhale, and bring arms over head, exhale and mindfully come into a forward fold, knees slightly bent.
- Inhale, bringing your hands to your knees, coming just halfway up, keeping your back flat and parallel to the ground. Exhale and relax back into your forward fold.
- Inhale, planting your palms on the ground and stepping back into Downward Facing Dog, exhale in this pose, and feel the grounding energy coming up through the palms of your hands.
- Inhale, lowering yourself into a plank position OR come down onto all fours, and as you exhale, bring yourself down onto your belly, bringing your palms just beneath your shoulders with your fingers facing forward and your bent elbows pointing backward.
- As you inhale, push up through your palms and chest, coming into a cobra position. Exhale, chest and head come down, and push up through your hands, sending your hips toward the ceiling into Downward Facing Dog.
- Inhale, step or jump your feet forward between your hands, exhale, relax into this forward fold.
- Inhale, sweep your hands above your head. Exhale, bring hands to heart center.
- Complete this flow as many times as you need. I love to start out the morning with 5-10 Sun Salutations to get my blood pumping on these cold, winter days!