While it can seem like a dream to stay snuggled up under your blanket on a frosty winters morning, there is no escaping the reality of having to get up for work. Just a few minutes of yoga each morning, though, can help you to warm up and begin the day with a smile. Not only is yoga ideal for getting your blood pumping, it also brings with it an array of health benefits. Whether you’re interested in preventing the common cold, or you’re hoping to prevent sore, stiff joints, in this article we give you an insight to exactly why yoga in winter is so beneficial.
There is nothing enjoyable about having to get out of bed on a chilly winters morning. Getting your blood pumping with 20 minutes of yoga, though, can really help you to warm up ready for the day. In addition to the bonus of keeping warm, morning yoga can help to prevent the aches and stiffness that inevitably come your way in the colder months. In particular, a few rounds of Sukshma Vyayam can keep those painful joints at bay.
Winter is the time when cold, coughs and flu-like to rear their ugly heads. Practicing yoga regularly can help to strengthen the immune system though, meaning that you are less likely to suffer from the dreaded winter viruses.
Various breathing exercises can have numerous benefits on the body, including clearing chest congestion, a common symptom of the winter cold. In addition to relieving the symptoms of cold and flu, breathing exercises are great for boosting the immune system – meaning that you are less at risk from picking up bacteria. A specific technique named Kapal Bhati Pranayama is great for heating up the body, while Jal Neti is great for fighting winter allergies.
It’s no secret that the dull, winter months can leave us feeling a little down in the dumps. Scheduling time into your day for a few minutes of meditation can help to beat the winter blues, working to increase your overall mood. After your yoga session, take a couple of minutes to sit with your eyes closed and reflect. Doing so is a great way to start the day, leaving you with the knowledge of exactly what you want to achieve.
With the endless array of sweet and savoury treats on offer around Christmas, it’s no surprise that many of us start to pile on the pounds. Practicing yoga daily, though, is the ideal way to keep the weight off, at the same time as eating whatever you like. Breaking a sweat for half an hour each day will not only help to reduce weight but will also help to tone the internal organs too.
The colder months are the perfect time to try out some hot yoga. While it is sensible to take care of ex-treme temperature changes, turning up to a cosy, heated room can be a real incentive to get you through the doors. Hot yoga brings with it an array of specific benefits; for instance, the heat increases flexibility, preventing injury by almost double. Also, a heated room encourages the body to sweat, which in turn helps to cleanse the body by releasing toxins. When partaking in hot yoga, it is important to wear breathable yoga clothes. For a lightweight yoga top, we recommend the Ana Heart, Maroon Open Tank with Scoop Back.
As mentioned previously, it is important to avoid extreme temperature changes in the colder months. To avoid shocking the body, ensure to wrap up warm on your way to class by wearing thicker layers over the top of your yoga clothes. In addition to avoiding shock, if your body is warmer when you begin the class, you are less susceptible to injury. For a snuggly yoga hoodie, we recommend the Ana Heart, Kurt Oversized Hoodie.
Even with extra layers, your muscle will still be colder than usual when you turn up to class. To prevent injury, consider getting to the session at least 10 minutes early to give your body time to adjust to the warm room. Doing a few simple stretches before you begin will allow your muscles to warm up faster.
If you fall ill, remember to stay at home. While a sweat-inducing yoga class may seem like the perfect opportunity to rid your body of cold, consider the other members of the class. To avoid spreading your germs around, try following a yoga DVD or a video App in the comfort of your own home.
While yoga equipment may be provided at your class, in winter it can be wise to bring your own, instead. With so many germs around in the colder months, it can be easy to pick up an illness from shared equip-ment. Typically, shared mats will not get washed very often, so you have no idea what kind of germs may be harbouring there. For a comfortable yoga mat, we recommend the Ana Heart, Empowering yoga mat.
Bringing a change of warm, dry clothes to the session is always a good idea – especially in the winter months. If you leave the class in a damp yoga outfit, there is no question that the cold air will start to chal-lenge your immune system. While taking an extra outfit may seem like a faff, you will be thanking yourself for it the day after.
Whether you’re an experienced yogi or a complete novice, partaking in regular yoga can benefit the body immensely – especially in the winter months! With an array of positive effects such as strengthening the immune system, and preventing stiff joints, 20 minutes of yoga can be perfect to get you started on those cold, winter mornings. Pour yourself a large glass of water to stay hydrated, then you’re ready to begin!