Yoga for a Snow Day

Woman in child's pose

Shoveling snow – especially the heavy, wet stuff we just got – can tweak our backs, make our arms sore and get the heart rate up. To relieve some of that tightness, try this gentle restorative sequence.

Snow-shoveling sequence

Make your movements slow and deliberative, following your breath and taking as long as you need to in each pose.

  • Cat/cow – loosen up the spine with several rounds of cat/cow
    • Exhale as you arch your back in cat/inhale as you drop your belly in cow
  • Child’s pose/tabletop – continue to loosen the spine and focus on the breath as you relieve tension overall
    • Exhale into child’s pose/Inhale into tabletop
  • Downward Facing Dog (Adho mukha svanasana)
    • From tabletop, step back into Downward Facing Dog, pedaling your feet to loosen the leg muscles.
  • Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
    • From Downward Facing Dog, step forward into Forward Fold. Keeping the knees bent, let the upper body drape over your thighs and let gravity do some work as you release tension in the neck
  • Eagle Arms  – Come to standing and move into Eagle Arms
    • Extend your arms out at shoulder heighth, bring the right arm under the left and cross your arms, bringing your palms together if you can. If not, you can keep the backs of your hands touching and hook a finger or two. Another option is to place your hands on your opposite shoulders.
    • Once you have your hands placed, lift the elbows, broadening the upper back. If your hands are on your shoulders, push your elbows forward.
    • Take several breaths, then release the hands and arms.
    • Repeat, this time bringing the left arm under the right.
  • Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani) – rest in this pose for at least five minutes, to release tension in low back while stretching tight hamstrings.

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