Monday, January 17, 2011

So Hum: Self Expression through Yoga

Photographer: Faern
Model: Sean Haleen
Writer: Erica Rodefer

It's already been a brutal winter in some parts of the country. In the last few weeks, I've seen my share of cold, snow, ice, travel delays, and my personal nemesis, days and days of seemingly endless Grey skies. It all leaves me feeling a little blah.

Many yoga teachers have told me that winter is a perfect opportunity for self-reflection—a chance to go inward and probe around a bit so you can learn more about who you are and the meaning of life and all that… The usual suspects for self-reflection are long held forward bends and restorative poses. But for me, as relaxing and soothing as these kinds of poses can be, they still seem like a kind of consolation prize. I like to move and build heat—preferably in the sunshine.

This image of San Francisco yoga teacher Sean Haleen is a reminder that no matter how dark and dreary things might seem in the moment, the sun is shining somewhere. He really does look like a sundial doesn't he?

Luckily, there are a few poses that always make me feel warm and cozy—even when it's cold outside. Sundial is one of them—when I practice it I can nearly feel the sunshine! Of course, Sun Salutations are another, more traditional way, to build heat in the body. Core strengthening poses like arm balances and Boat Poses (Navasana) bring new meaning to the phrase "put a fire in your belly."

What are some of your favorite ways to warm up with yoga in the coldest, darkest, winter months?

Faern is a yoga practitioner and photographer in San Francisco. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook

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