Walking Camel: Vinyasa Short Sequence for Winter.
I have designed this mini sequence that stimulates JatarAgni ( the digestive fire) to keep the metabolism and the immune system in top shape to face the cold winter weather.
The Vinyasa methodology of Yoga is modelled on the patterns of Nature. When we become familiar with the structure of natural phenomena we unlock the most powerful tools for transformation. Creating a Vinyasa sequence follows specific rules and the result is always a safe , intelligent, ever-new sequence. As Nature , Vinyasa Yoga is a method in continuous evolution!
In Winter we tend to withdraw from physical exercise and become lethargic but we actually benefit from vigorous routines ( brisk walks in the early morning, dynamic practice of yoga asana with rhythmic Ujjiayi breathing in the late morning or around lunchtime) as Kapha dosha ( Earth and Water ) is predominant and , as a consequence, we are more prone to Kapha type illnesses such as colds and flu.
By working with the energetic effects of yoga asana we can counter act and balance the effect of the seasonal flow and tune our biological functions to optimal health level. Winter is the grounding and lunar time of the year and to balance these inherent qualities of the environment we have to seek for the opposite polarities of expansion and activation.
The backbends in this sequence create expansions, the core work activates the inner fire in the belly while the twists balance it !
Begin in Adho Mukha Svanasana ( downward facing dog) (1).
Inhale: extend the Right leg to the sky in a straight line of energy. this is Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana (2).
Exhale: pull the knee into the navel, activating the belly (3).
Repeat three times and on the third round as you Exhale step the foot between the hands in Anjaneyasana ( low lunge)
Inhale: sweep the arms to the sky
Exhale: sweep the arms down and reach the hands at the base of the spine, fingers pointing up, elbows drawing into towards each other. Press the hands into the sacrum bone and the hips forwards. Tailbone points to the floor as an anchor (4).
Inhale: from that solid base lengthen the spine up and away from the hips.
Exhale : as you travel up and back in an arc shape with your spine you might want to explore a deeper variation of the back bend where the Right leg, slowly and steadily, extends fully, Right foot flat and plugging into the Earth, This is Eka Pada Ustrasana (one leg Camel Pose) (5).
Inhale: from the stability of your stance push gently your hips forwards, activate your Left thigh, bend your Right knee and spring forward and up back into lunge
Exhale: fold forward in lunge, your chest rests on the Right thigh, wrap your arms under the leg and rest your hands on the shoulders. This is Anjaneyasana Adho Mukha ( lunge forward fold, head down) (6).
This sequence is called “Walking Camel ” in the Krishnamacharia tradition of Vinyasa Yoga.
Prati-Kriya , Counter poses.
An important technique of the Vinyasa style is that of Kriya / Prati-Kriya. As in Nature, to every action corresponds a reaction that is equal and opposite, so in Vinyasa we look for countering the effect of a posture ( especially if the posture has a significant energetic impact on the bodily functions or systems) with one or a series of postures that balance the energy and neutralise the spine.
Pose (6) : Ardha HAnumanasana. Counter pose to Anjaneyasana
Pose (7) and (8): Ardha parivritta trikonasana and parivritta parsvakonasana in Anjaneyasana counter poses to Eka pada Ustrasana