Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cold Toes

You can find yoga sock patterns of www.ravelry.com
Last weekend brought a cold front into the Northeast that's lingered into the beginning of the week. It's supposed to warm up again soon, but meanwhile I'm dealing with cold toes during my yoga practice. If your part of the world is seeing hints of the frosty seasons to come, here's a few things you can do to warm up your yoga practice, without turning on the heat (let's remember Mother Earth, please).

  1. Sun Salutations. That lovely flow that opens your whole body is also designed to warm you from the inside out. Start your practice with as many cycles as you need to get the heat into your toes.
  2. Kapalabhati Breath. A fast breath of forced exhales followed by a natural inhale, Kapalabhati will light a fire in your core and cleanse your system. Practice it on its own or add Kapalabhati breathing to a pose like Goddess squat to get a good burn.
  3. Yoga socks. Yes, there are socks out there for yoga. I knit my own toe-less, heel-less socks to practice in when my feet are chilly.
  4. Dress in layers. The same advice we get for so many other activities applies to yoga, too. Two or three layered tops that can be removed as your practice heats up and donned again before your body starts to cool in Savasana will keep you comfortable throughout your practice. I can't think of anything worse than shivering in Savasana.
  5. Insulate your mat. This is a trick I learned from one of my yoga students. Create a blanket sandwich with two mats. Lay one mat on the floor, lay a blanket on top, then put a second mat on top. The mats will keep you from slipping and the blanket will keep the cold in the floor. If you spread the blanket wider than the mats you'll have a warm place to rest your hands during supine twists and Savasana.
It's 39 degrees outside this morning. I'm thinking about practicing in a hat. Can you add anything else to the list?
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