Mid-Winter Middle Whittler & Signs of Spring

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Here, in Boston, there have been a few inarguable signs of spring this week.  First and foremost, the Red Sox reported to spring training, with–poetically enough–pitchers and catchers arriving in Fort Myers, FL on Valentine’s Day, like a giant, red-valentine, special delivery to make Bostonians swoon.  (Most people have cupid; we have Jason Varitek). Position players report on Friday, and for a city whose romance with the boys of summer is no secret, we all get a little giddy when this happens.

The massive, mountainous, despicably dirty snowbanks that line our streets are melting, albeit slowly. Two days ago, temperatures hit an unseasonable 50 degrees, causing us to collectively remark (cautiously, no doubt) that perhaps we’ve seen the worst of what Mother Nature has brazenly served up this year.  The sun, too, is acting more social.  It stays out and mingles with us later, past what some call “happy hour,” a term that no longer seems ironic.  (Calling anything “happy” in pitch-black darkness at 4:30 p.m. is, really, hardly accurate; let’s be honest).

Spring, on the other hand, is always happy. Did I mention it’s coming?  As I type this, beautiful young things, fashion designers, and fashion magazines at New York Fashion Week are speculating what trends we will wear next season.  Daffodils and tulips are conspiring underground to plot their seasonal debut.  (Remember, tulips!  A welcome harbinger of spring, but not from a caddish, long-distance boyfriend as a Valentine’s gift, the day after Valentine’s Day).  Finally, I’m wearing less clothing, relatively speaking of course.  Instead of my floor-length L.L. Bean parka, I’m able to face the elements in a streamlined, to-the-thigh, snowboarding jacket.  Hey, it’s a start.

We’ll all be wearing less in a few weeks, a reality often met with mixed feelings.  Some are excited to come out from underneath all that puff and fleece and wool, while others wince.  They’re cozy and warm, thanks to the extra layers, and, on occasion, those extra layers aren’t all clothing.

Fear not!  You have an Om Gal who loves you, with unlimited inspiration and information to help you kick off your own version of spring training.  Whether you’re hoping to gear up for a future 5K, shore up the confidence to rock some crazy fashion trend that bares lots of skin, or loosen up from a tough winter that plain stressed you out, this is your place in cyber space.

To begin, here’s a simple Mid-Winter Middle Whittler.  Say that three times fast . . . It will tone your core, especially the obliques, and generate lots of good heat within your body (no floor-length parka needed).  Start now, and you’ll feel more svelte by spring.  Please do not try this if you experience any back pain or are pregnant.

Step 1: Triangle Pose

Step 2: Reach Your Top Arm Overhead.  Begin to engage your legs and abs.

Step 3: From your core strength, stretch your lower arm forward, as well. Keep your thighs and belly active.  (You should feel no pain in your lower back).  Hold for 3-5 complete breaths.  Think of lengthening the underside of your torso.

Step 4: Finish by lifting your torso upright, to stand.  Repeat on other side.