Élodie Lantelme trained in classic Greek philosophy,
is an eternal yoga student, trained as a Satiam Yoga instructor with Katy Mission in 2017,
then Power Yoga (65YA) in 2019 with David Bonneville,
is currently training in Pranayama with Christian Tikhomiroff (FFEY)
and takes inspiration from Kundalini Yoga as seen by Gloria Latham.
She is also the happy co-organiser of the Good Vibes Week and La Clusaz Yoga festival.
To get the year off to a good start, here is a yoga calendar to practice throughout the year, according to the seasons and emotions. Find each month a posture explained and detailed by Elodie.
As the days are shorter, Tadasana helps re-energise from head to toe and regain balance while reinforcing respiratory capacity, by opening the chest wide open. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, your legs muscles active and your toes slightly turned in, bring your bully button towards the spinal column, bring your shoulder blades together and your shoulders down away from your ears, let the top of your head stretch up to the sky. Even simply standing can warm you through! Breathe slow, calm and deep.
In the cold of winter our energy levels are often lower. The Utkatasana pose can boost the organism and encourage grounding while reinforcing leg muscles and the abdominal area. Stand upright with legs hip-width apart, legs bent slightly, don’t go too far over the toes, this may weaken articulation, stretch your hands towards the sky and keep your shoulders relaxed, let the weight of your body sink towards your feet without arching your back, feel the stretch in your back. Breathe slow, calm, deep and emphasise the inhale to increase the energising effect (brahmana).
From the Utkatasana pose, place one foot back and turn it 90 degrees from the heel and pushing the outside of your foot into the ground. Stretch both arms out to each side from your shoulders at the same level, look out over the middle finger of the front hand. Bend your knee at a 90 degrees angle over your ankle, don’t let it stretch over. Keep your shoulders relaxed, stretch your neck and keep your back straight, not arched. You can increase the grounding energy and deepen the stretch by “magnetising” your legs down towards the other as if they are attracted to each other. Virabhadrasana II is a powerful pose that reinforces ankles, legs, groin, and hips while opening the chest area.
The beginning of spring marks a transitional period to evacuate winter build up while still maintaining heat, resisting damp and persistent frost. It’s time to rebalance the dosha Kapha in our constitutions with the Trikonasana pose. From the Virabhadrasana II pose, stretch the front leg, turn palms to the outside and on the in-breath move the front hand forward and as you exhale let your torso fall towards your front leg, and rest your hand on your ankle, all the while maintaining your shoulders parallel and both arms stretched out in opposite directions. Your knees should not be locked and kneecaps should extend upwards (slightly bend your legs if you experience any pain behind your knees). You can place a block on the ground under your hand to respect your line and maintain the stretch through your back. Look towards the upper hand. Breathe softly to slowly open up along your side.
In summer respiratory disorders are common. This pose reinforces the respiratory system and releases any tension in the hips while stretching your torso and calming the brain, reducing anxiety, stress and depression. To begin, lie on your back, your shoulders relaxed, keep your arms beside your body, palms facing down. Fold your knees and keep your feet hip distance apart on the floor, inhaling, without letting your knees turn outward, slowly lift your lower back, middle back and upper back off the floor; gently roll in the shoulders; touch the chest to the chin to avoid any pressure around the eyes. Press the tummy button towards the spinal cord to protect your lower back. Hold the position while breathing easily.
Summer brings heat. To avoid any imbalance and to appease the dosha Pitta, yoga poses encourage calming forward bends. One of the most effective is Uttanasana. Bend forward from your hips, stretching your back towards your thighs(you may need to bend your knees slightly). Your breathing move upwards, bringing oxygen to new breathing spaces. You will feel your thighs and hamstrings stretch.
When it is too hot, both literally and figuratively(when you feel anger for example), Sitali Pranayama, meaning “ fresh breath” can be useful. Sit down with a straight back, roll your tongue, let it stick slightly out past your lips. For 1 to 3 mins breathe slowly out your mouth. As you inhale, be aware of the feeling of freshness and as you exhale through your mouth, notice the heat leaving. Finish on an inhale and hold the breath, stick out your tongue and exhale.
A restorative pose, that calms, energises and rebalances. Viparita Karani is said to regulate blood pressure and hormones while relieving tired legs. For a more powerful effect, you can do this against a wall. Put your sacrum on a folded blanket or yoga brick, take care not to put this under your lower back, it needs to be low without arching your back. Raise your legs up to the sky (you can bend you legs for more comfort). Relax your back, shoulders and stretch your neck. Stay in the pose for 3 to 11 mins.
An important pose for an intense stretch of the psoas muscle, Anjaneyasana releases tension and blockages in the pelvis area and stretches the chest, opening the shoulder girdle. An ideal pose to let energy circulate during an often busy period, both emotionally and physically! From Uttanasana, step your foot back, place your knee on the ground (on a small cushion if this is painful). The front knee is directly above your ankle, square your hips, so both hip bones are facing forward. On the inhale, bring your hands over your head, palms against palm, keep your shoulders down. Exhale and let the breath go deep down, without letting your tummy button push forward. Take 5 to 10 breaths in this pose.
Twists compress the spinal disks, gently releasing spinal fluid to strengthen the back, improve digestion and elimination. From Anjaneyasana, put the point of your elbow on the opposite knee. Lift your chest and keep your ears far from your shoulders. Exhale deeply to emphasise the stretch through the raising of the diaphgram, inhale gently. Maintain the pose for 5 to 10 breaths.
In the heart of autumn, the weather becomes wetter and colder. To rebalance the feeling of imbalance and sluggishness, there is nothing better than the Mudras Yoga finger poses. A regular practise of Prithvi Mudra, even for a short time can balance body and mind. Sitting comfortable and straight, place the ring fingers against the tip of your thumb, keeping the other three fingers straight. Gently press the ring finger and thumb together. You can perform this Mudra in a Tadasana pose to complete the circle of the year!
The perfect breathing technique for the shorter days to keep your spirits up when it’s time to go back to work and the nights get visibly longer! Sitting with a straight back, in a comfortable position, close the left nostril with the ring finger of your right hand (your first two finger are bent in towards your palm), breath out the right nostril. At the end of the inhale, block the breath, closing the two nostrils. Release the ring finger to breathe out the left nostril. Start the cycle again with the inhale through the right nostril. Repeat this pranayama for 3 to 11 minutes. Take time to be aware of the invigorating effects through your body.
We also suggest
From Sunday 19 to Friday 24 March 2023