Get ready for below-freezing temperatures, lots of snow, and long winter naps! Winter is here, and with it comes the many excuses to stay inside. But don’t let the cold keep you from your yoga practice!
Here are seven reasons to stick with it.
1. Yoga is Warm
Chances are, the cold makes you feel stiff and sluggish. All the more reason to roll out your yoga mat.
Warming up your muscles and joints is good for the body, improving circulation, reducing stiffness and cramping, and helping you warm up. Building heat from the inside can keep you moving all day.
2. Yoga Boosts Your Immune System
Regular exercise strengthens the immune system, making your body ready to fight off the cold and flu viruses floating around this time of year. And unless you live in a bubble, you better believe you will be exposed to something.
Keep that first line of defense ready to battle the germs with lots of rest, water, and of course, yoga three times a week or more.
3. Yoga Boosts Your Energy, Too
The short days, dark evenings, little sunshine, and drab winter clouds can leave you feeling sluggish. The best way to boost your body’s energy level naturally is with regular exercise. As little as 3-4 hours per week is all it takes to kick your body into gear.
Have trouble getting out of bed in the morning? Sleep in your yoga clothes, then roll out of bed and into the studio — no excuses!
4. Yoga Improves Those Long Winter Naps
You might find yourself tossing and turning, making those 8 hours not as efficient as they could be. Make sure you stick to your bedtime routine — don’t stay up 'til midnight drinking spiked vegan egg nog and expect to wake up feeling refreshed.
Stop eating two hours before bed, go to bed at a decent hour, and try some soothing lavender tea or a chamomile eye pillow. I always down a glass of filtered spring water mixed with a teaspoon of magnesium (for restful sleep and relaxed muscles) and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. The vitamins and probiotics do their work overnight while I sleep, leaving me feeling energized in the morning.
5. Yoga Opens Your Heart
Want to say “Bah, humbug” to the holidays this year? Don’t get yourself down. Hitting the yoga studio will help you deal with the blues that often accompany the season.
Practicing simple principles such as compassion and being in the moment in your yoga class will help you be a duck in the water — the negativity will simply roll off your back. Make time for pranayama and meditation practice. When your mind is happy and calm, you will be happy and calm.
6. Yoga Keeps You in Balance
Winter seems to give us a reason to over-indulge. All the holiday parties, cookies, candies, treats, and cocktails can pack on the extra pounds. Shed the guilt by balancing your indulgences with some calorie-burning asana classes. There should be no reason why you can’t enjoy the tastes of the season as long as you keep it in balance.
Go ahead, enjoy a cranberry martini and chocolate cannoli! Just limit your portion and burn it off the next day in class.
7. Yoga Will Keep You Grounded
The seasons come and go. Winter turns to spring, and fall into winter. We go through times in our lives full of prosperity, and others are in poverty. As the world changes around us, our time on the mat can be a consistent source of comfort and grace.
Knowing you can count on your yoga practice promotes mental clarity, a sense of security, and a healthy muladhara chakra. Keep it up. No matter what is changing in your life or in the world around you. Yoga is peace, and peace is the language of the world.
What are some reasons you have to practice yoga this winter? Share with us in the comments below!