Don’t let winter freeze your exercise routine. Here are four yoga-inspired ways to warm up and slim down when it’s cold outside.
Salute the sun (even when it isn’t shining)
Perform a series of sun salutations, standing yoga postures that work (and warm) the whole body. To start: Stand with feet together and arms bent into prayer position. Breathe deeply as you raise arms overhead (keep biceps glued beside ears). Exhale and fold forward to touch your toes. Return to standing and step into a forward lunge. Bring hands down to floor, stacking shoulders above wrists, and step front foot back into high plank position. Hold for one count, then lower body to floor (engage those triceps!). Shift hands down beside rib cage and peel upper body off floor. Hold for one count, then shift weight into toes and lift hips up to bring body into an inverted V shape. Step opposite foot into a forward lunge again (keeping hands on floor). Step back foot forward to meet lunging foot. Slowly peel out of your forward fold, lifting arms overhead. Return to start, standing with feet together and arms in prayer position.
Do 3 sets.
Set the mood for motivation
Light candles, put on uplifting music and create an inspiring workout space at home. With a workout DVD, you’ll avoid a chilly gym commute. Wear vibrant colours to brighten up cloudy days (and your spirit!). Have a cozy blanket and some chunky socks on standby for your cool down.
Fire up your inner heat
Ujjayi Pranayama (literally translated as conqueror breath) is the sound of the breath in the back of the throat, not dissimilar to the sound made by Darth Vader. This breathing technique is an ancient method of anchoring the mind. It also increases oxygen flow throughout the body and generates internal heat. To create the Ujjayi breath, you constrict the back of the throat so that the sound of the breath is audible. Smooth, long breath flows through the nose while the lips are kept gently closed.
Hydrate with green tea
Drinking tea post-workout is a great way to maximize feel-good hormones.
Bonus: Green tea is known to help increase metabolism.