Yoga for Building Heat

February 18, 2021

Creating warmth in the body increases flexibility and awakens the central nervous system; and if your inner furnace runs cold or your body’s constitution tips to the Vata side of Aryvedic’s doshas, then gaining warmth can become a daily preoccupation. As someone who wears three layers on most winter days (not including a coat!), I have garnered some helpful warming techniques for your practice.

Breath Control Work

First, let’s talk about breathing fire (not the ire kind, though). Be sure to speak with your physician if you have a pre-existing condition, such as asthma or cardiovascular disease. These yogic breathing practices vary from mild to intense.

For the following breath exercises, first find a straight spine. Sit in an easy seat or on your knees with a yoga block tucked under your bottom as support.

Creating warmth in the body increases flexibility and awakens the central nervous system; and if your inner furnace runs cold or your body’s constitution tips to the Vata side of Aryvedic’s doshas, then gaining warmth can become a daily preoccupation. As someone who wears three layers on most winter days (not including a coat!), I have garnered some helpful warming techniques for your practice.

Breath Control Work

First, let’s talk about breathing fire (not the ire kind, though). Be sure to speak with your physician if you have a pre-existing condition, such as asthma or cardiovascular disease. These yogic breathing practices vary from mild to intense.

For the following breath exercises, first find a straight spine. Sit in an easy seat or on your knees with a yoga block tucked under your bottom as support.

  • Alternate nostril breathing: As the name indicates, this method alternates between the inhale through one closed off nostril and an exhale through the other open nostril. Use the thumb and pinkie to alternate opening and shutting the airflow. For those with a deviated nasal septum, this may be an uncomfortable practice.
  • Ocean-sounding breathing (Ujjayi): Start with slow inhalation of five counts through the nostrils to five heartbeats out the nostrils. Feel the slow nourishment of inner radiance. The exhale may create a small low murmur like the sound of distant waves.
  • The shiny skull-polishing method: An advanced technique that takes practice and concentration for its full effects. The method involves a slow inhale to start, then a half exhalation, followed by a series of quick, sharp, fast rapid exhalations through the nose, which emanates deep from the diaphragm. Keep a steady rhythm right for you over a series of repetitions. Speed, time, and rhythm will depend on your comfort. A first-timer may aim for three to five rounds. Be patient with yourself as it takes practice—this technique kind of feels like doing an ab workout while sitting upright.
  • Alternate nostril breathing: As the name indicates, this method alternates between the inhale through one closed off nostril and an exhale through the other open nostril. Use the thumb and pinkie to alternate opening and shutting the airflow. For those with a deviated nasal septum, this may be an uncomfortable practice.
  • Ocean-sounding breathing (Ujjayi): Start with slow inhalation of five counts through the nostrils to five heartbeats out the nostrils. Feel the slow nourishment of inner radiance. The exhale may create a small low murmur like the sound of distant waves.
  • The shiny skull-polishing method: An advanced technique that takes practice and concentration for its full effects. The method involves a slow inhale to start, then a half exhalation, followed by a series of quick, sharp, fast rapid exhalations through the nose, which emanates deep from the diaphragm. Keep a steady rhythm right for you over a series of repetitions. Speed, time, and rhythm will depend on your comfort. A first-timer may aim for three to five rounds. Be patient with yourself as it takes practice—this technique kind of feels like doing an ab workout while sitting upright.

Asanas

Prepare for ramping up by wearing a comfortable pair of pants, shorts, or underwear. Life is too short for rigid, stiff gear when you need to flow.

  • Traditional Asanas. The fallback, the go-to for warmth and flow for many yoginis, is the repetition of Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B. Go at your own pace. The heat will arrive in your gentle flow.
  • Asana for High-Intensity Training Lovers. Hindu push-ups (or Down Dog push-ups) fires up the body with heat after a series of repetitions. From Down Dog, ground through your hands and feet. Lead with the head and bend the elbows as you move through to Up Dog. Then push back into Down Dog. Try this movement in intervals of ten for a quick full-body warmth. Your upper body and heart will know you’ve arrived by the end of this series.

Tricia Louvar l Mukha Yoga
By Tricia Louvar; All Rights Reserved @2021

Tricia Louvar l Mukha Yoga

By Tricia Louvar; All Rights Reserved @2021



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