Don’t you know what the experts have to say? They say winter yoga is the best way you can put your fitness goals to practice. If you have yoga on the list of your new year’s resolutions, then this is it. Do not wait for spring to kick start your yoga training.
Yes, yes! We know. We know that you think of spring as the season of growth and rejuvenation and winter as the season of rest. But health experts warn that a sedentary lifestyle during colder and darker days is what we should avoid as it can give rise to common winter-related health issues.
In this article, we have made an effort to highlight the benefits of practicing yoga during winter.
So, get ready to trade your cozy sweater for winter yoga pants as you are about to take your yoga practice to the next level.
Benefits of Winter Yoga
Yoga is not just considered an effective means to lose weight. It is also looked upon as the science of healing which helps to add a protective layer of warmth, especially during winter. Here are a few benefits of practising winter yoga:
1. Yoga helps you beat the winter blues
You see it’s freezing outside. You hop in your winter yoga clothes, still contemplating your decision about joining the yoga classes, but as you start practising your set of poses, you come to realize that it is nothing but a calming restorative session that is helping you beat the chills outside.
If you want to alter your energetic state, then you will have to move a bit quicker. Practising different yoga poses like Ashtanga will lift your mood and stimulate hormones that will destress your body.
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2. Yoga has respiratory benefits
One of the most underappreciated forms of maintaining good health is taking care of our breath. If you want to be kind to your respiratory system, then be mindful of your breathing and practice it correctly. This will also help you potentially treat some of your common winter-related health issues.
The most natural pose that you can adopt to protect your lower respiratory system is ujjayi pranayama (victorious breathing practices), where you breathe through your nose.
When you inhale through your nose, it warms the air before entering your lungs while the groove-like passage in your nasal cavity filters the air, thus protecting your respiratory system from potential allergies. Practising pranayama will also help you strengthen your nervous and respiratory systems. Kapalbhati and Bhastrika are some of the best winter yoga pose that you can practice on a regular basis.
3. Yoga helps you get a glowing skin
Skin is undoubtedly the largest organ of our body. This is exactly why you need to take extreme care of your skin throughout the dry days of winter. By taking care, we are not referring to slathering on perfumed lotions. What we mean to say is practising yoga can help you get glowing skin.
When you practice yoga, the released sweat helps detoxify your pores and cleanse your body. This helps you to maintain hydration and suppleness. Besides that, practising heated yoga can also help you increase your cardiovascular and respiratory functions, which helps you maintain body weight.
4. Yoga helps you to improve your mood
Every 2 out of 5 people undergo depressive episodes during different times of the year. This seasonal pattern begins mostly during winters and tends to reduce by spring. The symptoms of depression are not just limited to sadness and hopelessness but also include having suicidal thoughts, a tendency to oversleep, change in diet, weight gain, lack of concentration and increased sensitivity to criticism.
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Incorporating the practice of Surya namaskar can seem like an effective way to alleviate these symptoms. Besides, practising yoga will not just cure depression but also help in increasing cardiorespiratory integrity, therefore, elevating the mood and providing a greater feeling of endurance and energy.
5. Yoga is an effective way to manage stress
Stress is not just restricted to having an unpleasant feeling of dissatisfaction or fear; and stress also contributes to a decline in the health of an individual. The stress hormone cortisol plays a critical role in regulating the body’s immune system. Too much release of cortisol can suppress the functioning of the body’s immune system and leave the body vulnerable to different diseases.
Practising slower and more relaxing aspects of yoga can actually help one destress themselves. Adopting different yoga poses like vinyasa can help the body work synergistically, especially during winter. Besides, the slower and more relaxing aspects of yoga can boost the body’s immunity, particularly when high-stress levels are a day-to-day thing.
6. Yoga helps you get the much-needed break
Imagine it is a warm summer afternoon and you want to take a break from your monotonous daily routine. You allow yourself to leave your work for a while and take a walk in the sunshine.
This type of break is certainly difficult to find during winters. On the other hand, yoga helps you block out the world and focus not only on your breathing but also helps you get the much needed-break and makes you feel as toasty as you would on a beachy summer afternoon. Yoga is nothing but an affordable alternative.
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Winter can make you not only stiff but also sluggish. In such cases, building heat in your body will help you keep going throughout the day. Armed with this information, you can incorporate some yoga practices into your day-to-day routine.
What could be possibly better than practising different yoga poses in a warm room with snow falling outside?
Winter yoga is the best way to manage stress and lead a healthy lifestyle. Spending too much time indoors can expose you to germs. However, winter yoga will help you keep track of your health through its effective exercises, which will build strong immunity against diseases and lift your mood for the rest of the day.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your yoga pants as it is time to go healthy.