IMMUNE SYSTEM AT A LOW EBB? GOT A TOUCH OF THE WINTER BLUES? CHECK OUT OUR FAVOURITE YOGA POSES TO GET YOU THROUGH THE CHILLIER MONTHS.
How do you feel when wintertime comes around? In the Northern hemisphere when the days are shorter, the air may be crisp and cool or there can be a damp, heaviness to the atmosphere. Mother Nature slows down. Deciduous trees are devoid of their leafy shrouds and some animals settle into hibernation. Perhaps you too become compelled to slow down, to rest, to take time for reflection and introspection. It can be a valuable time for deep listening.
For some, the dark, dankness of this time of year is oppressive. We may feel lethargic and stagnant, lacking in inspiration or energy. Yoga can help us to tune in with ourselves and resolve to give our mind and body what they need.
“In the midst of winter, I at last discovered that there was, within me, an invincible summer.”Albert Camus
Whilst it may be tempting to head into a state of hibernation, don’t miss out on opportunities to get the heart pumping and introduce warmth and energy into the body. In this article we explore yoga poses for winter that will:
- Help us feel more grounded
- Invigorate the body
- Stoke our inner fire and generate heat
- Stimulate digestion.
8 YOGA POSES FOR WINTER
Using both hands and feet as foundation points, Downward Dog is solid and grounding. Whilst considered a resting pose in vinyasa yoga, it engages the whole body and can also rejuvenate – perfect for a chilly winter’s day! Learn the correct alignment and variations in this Downward Facing Dog Pose Tutorial with Dylan Ayaloo.
Back arches reverse the hunched postures that we may inadvertently adopt on dark, cold days. They open up the shoulders and chest, lengthen the spine and increase flexibility. Ustrasana is one such exhilarating pose that opens the heart centre and heightens perception. Try this Camel Pose Tutorial with Andrew McGonigle.
Using our muscles generates bodily heat. Amongst the largest muscle groups are the gluteus muscles (in the bottom) and the quadriceps (in the thighs). Since Utkatasana works both of these groups, it is an effective yoga pose for winter when we want to warm up.
Winter Immune Booster Series
Winter Immune Boost 1 – A gentle class, ideal if you are coming down with a cold or feeling a little run down.
Winter Immune Boost 2 – Picks up the pace from the first class and improves circulation.
Winter Immune Boost 3 – Focuses on internal cleansing and includes some twists.
Winter Warmers: Yoga and Qigong for The ‘Inner Fire’
Part 1: Kindling the Fire Improves the circulation and warms the body in the cooler months.
Spirit Warming 2 is a pick-me-up featuring sun salutations, qigong, dancing warrior and back bends to cultivate energy on chilly days.
AND FINALLY: WINTER SOLSTICE RITUALS
Whilst winter may be a time to hunker down and take life at a slower pace, there is value in staying grounded whilst finding ways to invigorate the body and keep warm.
We close with some beautiful suggestions from Esmerelda in this blog: Winter Solstice Rituals: Honouring our Deeper Rhythms
Author: Helen Krag. Helen is a health and wellness enthusiast; observer of human behavioural change; yoga teacher trainee; passionate traveller; and lover of the outdoors.