Tune up your practice - A guest post from Charlotte Easterling

You know that crackling sound ice makes when you drop it into a warm drink? I'm pretty sure I've heard that noise coming from my (and my fellow yogis') bodies when we're warming up on the mat. Ah, winter.

Illustration of person in peaceful warrior pose with light rays shining from chest.

As you might expect, I'm a dedicated yoga practitioner. It's usually not hard to get me out the door and into a class. But let the temperatures drop and the nights turn long, and suddenly I'm mastering slothasana. Energy conservation mode is a survival strategy, though, not necessarily an enjoying-your-life strategy.

That’s the thing that gets me out of my fabulous leopard-print pajamas and into my yoga togs. Resisting that instinct to hibernate does good things for my body and mind. It’s even better when a teacher makes good use of a mysterious thing called the energetic arc. That arc is essentially the energy flow of the class, the thing that gets you from your pre-practice rest into all sorts of demanding poses, and then back to rest. The best part, though, is what the arc does to you while you’re moving your body. Ever left a yoga class feeling like you got a caffeine jolt without the jitters? Or have you experienced a good old fashioned yoga buzz? Hello, energetic arc.

It’s a fun thing to play with, both as a practitioner and a teacher. How big and sparkly can I go without leaving everyone cranked up at the end of class? How grounding and calming can I make the arc before I need to scoop people off the floor and pour them into their cars? It’s a fascinating process, this energy flow.

On March 8, I’ll be taking a longer route to exploring that arc with a Winter Energy Tune-Up practice. For two hours, I’ll lead students through an energetic flow followed by deep grounding yin/restorative poses, and then polishing the whole works off with a bit of yoga nidra. To add to all that energetic goodness, my friend Field Stark will be joining in to provide Reiki while you practice.

Think of your practice an experiment in alternative energy. As a bonus, you don’t need solar panels on your yoga pants to give yourself a big boost of sunshine.