Why Yoga is Important in Winter
It’s cold outside; skies are gray; there’s snow and ice on the car; trees are bare; no more walking or running with green all around. Except for the holidays during the first part of winter, this season can bring about a change in mood that may not be fully positive.
Yoga can be the solution to all of these seasonal issues and more. And here’s why.
1. Relieve Stress of the Holidays
While the holidays are exciting, there is stress involved – finding the right gifts, attending those “command performance” gatherings, cooking, cleaning, getting together with relatives you may not adore, etc. The meditative aspect of Yoga can relieve stress, be restorative of your peace of mind, and allow you to get that balance back.
2. Cure the Winter Blahs
Other aspects of Yoga can restore energy by moving faster and stimulating the production of endorphins that make you feel so much better. Get into a more rigorous class or use an app in your home to get that energy flowing. Not only will you experience more “feeling good” and energized, but the activity itself will also reduce cortisol production, a known negative response to stress. As you exercise, be sure to be mindful of your exhales. As you exhale steadily and through the nose, cortisol production will decrease.
3. Keeping Muscles in Shape
It’s such a temptation to throw a blanket over yourself, cozy up on the couch, and just “veg.” But here’s the thing about winter. You are less active overall, and muscles will react accordingly. They can become tight. Yoga will strengthen and stretch your muscles, saving you from injuries that often happen due to slippery roads and snow, hiding objects you can trip over. Lunges are good for hip flexors, and planks will stretch every muscle in your body. Working on the core will also help to keep you more balanced as you trudge through that snow.
4. Yoga Improves Circulation
During the winter months, our blood thickens up. And we can experience poor circulation in the extremities – hands, and feet specifically. That’s why they get cold faster than other body parts, and the discomfort is not pleasant. There are Yoga exercises that will move that blood to those toes and fingers. Choose a class with moderate vigor and lots of sun salutations. And, if you are feeling those cold toes and fingers at home, repeat those exercises and sun salutations.
5. Boost Your Immune System with Yoga
We do need a better immune system in the winter, and here’s why. We are in more enclosed spaces with other people, windows are not open, and germs linger in the air. There are lots of air-bone illnesses that our body must fight off that are easily fought off in the outdoor air. Of course, there are some remedies, like putting on a winter jacket, turning off the heat, and opening up the windows to air things out.
Another factor affecting the immune system is the lowered consumption of fresh fruits and veggies that we enjoy during the warm weather. To get these during the winter months mean we have to spend a lot more because they are shipped from faraway places.
But Yoga will also boost your immune system. Yoga will assist in cleansing vital organs. And it will reduce the stress that research says lowers our immune system. Restorative Yoga activities, especially meditation and deep breathing will decrease that stress hormone production. And bridges and camels will open up the chest for much better breathing. Cleaning out the lungs of impurities is always a good thing.
6. Relief for Arthritis and Osteoporosis
For those who suffer from these two conditions, cold weather will exacerbate them. This can mean going through much of the winter in pain of various levels. An increased lack of movement contributes to this too. The goal is to limber yourself up, and that is just what Yoga can do. Slower and less rigorous Yoga exercises are best for these conditions, rather than those high-energy, rapid movement ones. Taking restorative and low-impact classes.
7. About That Weight Gain
Winter does a number on us in terms of weight. We are far less active, and those comfort foods are mighty attractive – lots of carbs (which turn into sugars), foods that are often loaded with fats, warm desserts, and much more. People can gain as much as 15 pounds during the winter months.
The solution? High energy Yoga classes or at-home exercises that burn at least 400 calories an hour, more if possible. Of course, there are plenty of exercises that burn more (calisthenics; aerobics, etc.), but Yoga can be a good supplement to burn some extra calories.
Winterize Your Body
We winterize our cars and our homes, so that we have reliable transportation and can stay warm. We need to “winterize” our bodies too. These seven benefits of Yoga will do just that.
Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a researcher and academic content creator. Her job is to facilitate student learning – she creates educational content that aligns with search queries “write my essay” and “hire writer”. When Jessica has free time, she enjoys reading, blogging, and hiking.
Check out Yoga Teaching Diploma Course