Here in Taos where temperatures have gone down below freezing for many months now, we may feel the urge to stay inside and not go to yoga. Pushing yourself to get to the studio in winter is worth it for a multitude of reasons. Winter is a time to discover our inner landscape, which yoga will help us with. When it’s cold outside, yoga helps you stay warm on the inside. Let’s find out the many benefits of practicing yoga in the wintertime.
First of all, yoga brings warmth. When your body is stiff from the cold, moving your muscles and joints is good for improving circulation, slowing down stiffness and cramping, and helps you warm up. The heat you build inside your body from practicing will help you move throughout your day.
Yoga will keep you grounded with cold weather. When outside is a blizzardy mess, staying inside and connecting to our core will keep us from feeling the winter blues. Finding a sense of calm and peace through our practice will settle the natural agitation that we feel as the temperatures drop. Our mental stability, which can be thrown off with the cold, dry conditions, improves radically with a consistent practice.
The energy boost that is shot into our bodies during the short days and dark nights can leave a person feeling sluggish. The natural way to counteract the low energy is to get our bodies moving through vinyasa (flow) and pranayama (breath). Waking up our spiritual connection to the natural cycles of the environment around us, which is one of the main purposes of yoga, will invigorate our otherwise slow winter energy.
Finally, yoga will build your immune system. Wintertime is a breeding ground for flu and cold viruses. Unless we are a robot, we will always be exposed to something. A regular practice, at least 3 times per week, will strengthen our immune system. Yoga lowers our stress hormones and calms the nervous system. By relaxing with asana and breath, the nervous system tells the immune system to calm down and attack the invading germs .
Instead of succumbing to the wintertime blues, get out of your house and come to yoga as the temperatures drop and the snow barrels down,. You will receive the benefits of warmth, mental stability, increased energy, and immune system support. Find the warmth that you are seeking inside yourself and the yoga studio.