Monday, March 05, 2007

Snow Yoga

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? We were all out for a wintry walk yesterday morning, because we had to get out of the house. Late winter in Wisconsin can be excruciating for a 2 ½-year-old—and his parents—so we bundled up and headed out to the trail behind our house. It was a clear, crisp day with a several layers of snow on the ground from our last three weekend storms. Jim and I broke through last week’s layer, but Eamonn sailed across on the top, which delighted him (and meant he didn’t need carrying).

The boys forged on ahead into the woods, while I hung back. It was so lovely and peaceful that a quick yoga practice seemed appropriate; I plopped down into Virasana (Hero Pose), closed my eyes and let the sounds of the cool air and birds be my soundtrack. I was bundled enough that the cold didn’t bother me, so it was a really nice, different way to approach a short session of focused relaxation. Give it a try, before the snow melts!

1. Pick a quiet, peaceful spot, without distractions like neighborhood noise or traffic. Make sure you are bundled warmly; being cold will be more distracting than noise and you want to be able to focus on your environment. This won’t be for very long, but you should be comfortable.

2. Find a favorite pose that you can hold for 10 or 15 minutes: Sukhasana (Easy Pose), Virasana, Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose), Dandasana (Staff Pose) are all comfortable poses, that you could do leaning against something for more support. Adjust as you need to accommodate your winter wrapping; you will be bulkier, so you may need to modify the position because of your boots, snow pants, etc.

3. Once you are comfortably situated, close your eyes and let yourself settle into the position. Be aware of the noises you hear all around you—wind in the branches, birds, a far-off snow blower, dripping icicles—don’t focus on them but let the sounds enter and leave your awareness as it happens. Stay in this calm, alert-but-relaxed state for as long as you wish.

4. Head inside for some hot chocolate and, remember, spring is only 16 days away! ©Brenda K. Plakans. All Rights Reserved.

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