Winter Yoga – Which Yoga Is Best For The Cold?
Winter is here and with it comes the year-end with celebrations of Christmas and New Year, a robust wedding season and many more memorable moments waiting to be created. But all this celebration can truly be enjoyed with a healthy mindset and fit body. Fitness is important. It makes us more productive, aware and balanced to deal with all the chaos surrounding the contemporary urban lifestyle.
Yoga has, over the last 50 years managed to create a global presence in the form of an exercise routine through which it tends to persuade a more spiritual life and gain more balance in our lives. Yoga or “Union” exists between all life and the universe. Its presence now holds more of a fitness aspect to it with an organic approach towards wellness. Yoga is a practice that easily assimilates itself within our lifestyle and works towards better body flexibility, endurance and tranquillity. This particular article will be addressing the aspect of yoga during winter and the benefits it induces within our lives.
Which Yoga Is Best For The Cold Seasons?
Before going into detail on how yoga helps during the winter season, it is important to note that this practice is not a seasonal practice. Yoga can be practised in any season and needs to be practised religiously in order to reap its benefits. When we talk about winter, there are many health ailments that arise as the season approaches. The change in temperature usually brings about a viral fever, joints begin to ache and there are many respiratory disorders that might kick up during the season.
Yoga has a solution for many of these ailments when practised regularly and properly. The various asanas and breathing exercises help improve body oxygenation, metabolism, flexibility and endurance.
- The benefits of yoga during the winter season have been mentioned below:
- The asanas practised in yoga adjust various joints in the body and maintain body flexibility which can be extremely beneficial for people suffering from joint pains during the winter.
- The asanas form a rigorous exercise routine which helps keep the holiday weight in check.
- The asanas along with the breathing exercises help oxygenate the body better, improve blood circulation and improve body metabolism which helps keep the body healthy and fit.
- Practising these yogic asanas can help keep the body warm during the cold winters as the exercise routine will generate much heat in the body.
- Considering that contemporary lifestyles hold much stress, these yogic practices help alleviate the anxiety from our lives and induce a sense of peace from within.
When it comes to which yoga is the most beneficial, we must first truly understand the extent and depth of the subject. Yoga in its entirety can first be divided into 4 major groups, namely, Karma Yoga, Gyana Yoga, Rāja Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. The form of yoga we usually focus on is Rāja Yoga which encompasses the exercise routines of Ashtanga Yoga and Hātha Yoga. Further diving into the subject, we move on to the subject of asanas and their benefits during the winter.
The two most impactful yogic practices that can help immensely during the cold winter season are:
1. Surya Namaskar
The Surya Namaskar which means honouring the sun, is a sequence of 12 asanas practised preferably during sunrise or sunset to honour our main source of energy, the sun. The asanas range from beginner to intermediate, but a complete routine is one of the first practices taught to new yogic enthusiasts. This particular sequence in itself is an entire exercise routine which engulfs asanas that focus on the entire body looking to increase body flexibility and endurance, strengthen the body and increase oxygenation. This asana can be very effective for muscle building and weight loss and finds itself to be an integrated sequence built to cater to all seasons. The heat generated through the practice of the Surya Namaskar helps keep the body warm during the winter season and also induces a sense of tranquillity through the involved breathing techniques.
Prana and Yama are Sanskrit words that mean “life force” and “control,” respectively. Pranayama is a set of breathing techniques that strengthens the respiratory system and provides numerous benefits such as curing colds and coughs, viral infections of the lungs, inducing weight loss, and relaxing the mind and body.
On a concluding note, yoga isn’t restricted by any season, its fluidity transcends the physical and moves into the metaphysical aspect of our existence. Its practices have benefited people for centuries and have now found their place as an exercise routine in modern times.
The yogic practices have much to benefit us this winter. The various asanas keep the body warm and enhance our endurance towards cold and pollution. Yoga instils balance in our lives as we become better and more productive beings.
The above article sheds light on the most effective and approachable yogic practices that can benefit us during the winter season. A brief introduction on the subject with a subtle mention of the 4 different types of yoga sets the mood for a comprehensive elucidation of the benefits of yoga during the winter. The next section isolates and identifies two specific yogic techniques that can be extremely beneficial for us this winter and for the rest of our lives if we choose to continue with them. Each technique has been defined and described on an introductory level. For more information, you can log onto our website.
I am a Pune based artist, Kathak dancer, Dance Movement Therapist, and an avid Yoga practitioner/ teacher. I am also the Director at the Sakal Media Group, a Trustee of Pune Blind School and Nirdhar Trust.
Being a part of Sakal Media Group, with its strong foundation of service and ethical journalism, I am deeply committed in making this world a better place by pushing boundaries, giving opportunities to others, following my convictions, helping others make better choices and to tell powerful stories that will help reshape the world we live in.