Fighting winter blues with Yoga
Winter is coming …you can feel it in the mornings ..the colors are gone ..the trees are losing their last leafs , the days get shorter and the nights get colder. You wake up and its dark outside ..and its difficult to fight the feeling of hiding under the blankets and be lazy all day.
A lot of people complain about lack of energy, muscle pain and tension and the lack of motivation. Luckily they are a lot of things what we can do to survive the winter period with a positive state of mind.
Here I have a few tips for you.
- Get enough of sleep
- Eat warm, cooked food to balance out the cold, add spices to your diet (ginger, garlic, cloves, basil and black pepper) and make sure you get enough proteins.
- Drink warm drinks , warm water (with lemon and honey) and for example (ginger) tea.
- Make sure you get enough vitamin D (good news is that you can find vitamin D in pure chocolate ;))
- Practice Yoga!
Yoga can help you to adjust your body to the seasonal changes by
- increasing blood circulation
- loosens stiff joints
- increase lung and respiratory functions
- helping with dray dehydrated skin
- keeping the bodyweight in balance
The other good news is that by practicing Yoga you can release stress and tension from the body and mind and take control over your moods and energy level.
My absolute favorite Yoga routine for cold dark days is Sun Salutation. Sun Salutation helps increase body flexibility and also prepare the body to stretch. It gives you benefits for every part of the body like heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, and legs. It purifies the blood and improves blood circulation throughout the body and ensures proper functioning of the stomach, bowels, and nerve centers. Sun Salutation practice also helps calm the mind.
Hereby a few exercises to help you out
- Wood Chopper: This movement works the legs, arms and torso and quickly warms the body and increases the heart rate. Start with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Clasp your hands above your head, interlacing your fingers as you inhale. Then swing your arms and head down through bent legs as you exhale through the mouth. Inhale as you bring your body upright to standing, and bring your arms up above head. Straighten your legs.
- Cobra (Bhujangasana): Opens the chests and helps to clear the passages of the heart and lungs
How: Lie face down with your forehead touching the floor and your feet together. Place your palms on the floor. Slide shoulder blades down away from your ears. Squeeze your elbows toward each other. Move your tailbone toward your feet. Inhale, while lifting your head and chest up and hold. Exhale back down.
- Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II): This pose, improve focus and concentration, while boosting your mood and confidence. It opens the pelvis, torso, hips, shoulders, back and strengthens legs, develops balance and control.
How: From Mountain Pose, spread your legs one or more leg lengths apart. Turn one foot to point forward, keeping the other pointing sideways at a 90-degree angle. Hips remain open and facing away from the front foot. Extend arms out and level to the floor in a T position. Reach actively through the fingers and keep the shoulders relaxed and rotating backward. Bend front knee over the ankle as the thigh moves parallel to the floor. Keep the waist centered over the hips and legs. Keep pressure on the outside edge of the back foot as the back thigh rotates away from the navel center. Thighs are strong. Torso, legs, hips and feet are in the same plane. Turn your head and neck to gaze at the middle finger of the front hand.
- Legs up the wall this pose regulate blood flow ,alleviates menstrual cramps, restores feet and legs, stretches neck, back, front torso, migraine and headache relief ,gives energy, calms anxiety, relives symptoms of depressions and insomnia .
How: Sit with your hips against the wall and roll onto your back, taking your legs up the wall. Your seat should be pressing as close to the wall as you can. Take 5 to 30 minutes to practise.
They are only some propositions that you can practice home. If you would like to get more information about winter yoga poses, food, drinks and breathing tips ..just let me know J
‘Probably the biggest factor stopping people exercising in the cold is their mindset. After all, if it is cold outside, our muscles seem to tighten more and the aches and pains are a bigger annoyance to us than exercising in the warm. I think it is fair to say, for many people, an inability to tolerate the cold is due more to inadequate preparation, rather than a physical intolerance. Our bodies require more care and attention in autumn and winter’. Quote by Tony Gallagher