This winter, what better way to stay warm and fit than some yoga! Yoga is a practice and a form of fitness that has several benefits for the body, mind, and soul. Not only is yoga a potent way to shed weight, but it is also healing science, which can add an extra protective layer of warmth you need during winter .
This is mainly for all those who find the chill of winter unbearable. This holiday season, keep yourself warm and fit with the following yoga asanas.
Yoga for Winter Months:
Yoga asanas to keep you fit and warm during the winter season
It takes a great deal of patience before an individual can actually perform a headstand. But the ones who can do headstands understand well how much core engagement and focus it requires. Headstand is the perfect pose that can keep you healthy and warm during the months of winter.
The asana calms your brain and strengthens your entire body . You may try practicing it against a wall under the guidance of a yoga instructor.
2. Boat pose
The boat pose is excellent for strengthening your hip flexors and abdominals. It also requires maintaining body balance. The boat pose can warm you instantly, and it is good to keep you warm during winters . You may also try rotating your hands back and forth on either side while performing a boat pose. For feeling the additional burn:
- Straighten legs towards the ceiling.
- Make sure that your lower belly is stiff and you lift the chin only slightly.
- Lengthen the leg and maintain even breaths throughout the pose.
[Also Read: Essential Supplements to Take in the Winter]
3. Plank pose
Kumbhakasana or plank pose is a balancing and strengthening pose. It is essentially a core strengthening exercise that can help in keeping you warm this winter. The exercise can enhance posture and strengthen shoulders, abs, neck, chest, and back.
A basic plank is performed by balancing the body on your toes and elbows, with your spine and back aligned . Planks may make the abdominal muscles stronger and facilitate the tightening of the mid-section.
4. Bridge pose
Backbends involved in bridge pose may help in activating internal heat. The pose opens up the chest and shoulders and is also helpful in minimizing anxiety. For doing bridge pose, you need to lie on the back and bend the knees. Extend the arms on the floor with the palms flat on the floor.
Lift the pelvic region, followed by the torso. The head and shoulders should remain on the floor. Make sure the feet and thighs remain parallel to each other. Hold on to this position for 60 seconds. Inhale deeply while you hold on to the pose.
5. Twisted chair pose
This pose is excellent for building the body’s overall strength and heating you up from toe to head. Twisting in the pose can help in detoxifying and cleansing the entire body. It slowly increases the body temperature as you hold on to the position. Try twisting deeper for good results, and don’t forget deep breathing.
6. Self-care tips for winter
Implementing the following guidelines will help you to cultivate a more balanced lifestyle and remain grounded, healthy, calm, vital, and nourished this winter.
Nose oiling (Nasya) is an Ayurvedic technique used to protect the nasal membranes against dryness, lubricate the nostrils, increase mental clarity, calm the mind, and help clear out the sinuses. Dip your little finger into warmed sesame oil or ghee and lightly massage inside each nostril. Then sniff and draw the oil upward.
Self-massage (Abhyanga) can be incredibly nurturing in winter. Prefer sesame oil as it is the most warming-based oil and suitable for Vata, pitta, and Kapha types (all Ayurvedic constitution types), which will relieve joint aches and keep you warm.
Massage the oil onto the entire body, including feet and hands, working to the middle of your body. If you’re time-poor, apply sesame oil on the feet at the end of a day.
Winter months are a time to slow down and, if the lifestyle permits, the season when we can indulge in sleeping in, as Ayurveda suggests going to bed earlier and rising around 7 am. Being in bed, a little longer will help us rejuvenate. Napping is not advised in winter as it reduces Agni and increases Vata, the digestive fire, and metabolism.
When all is balanced and well in the body, the Agni burns the strongest in winter. To feed the digestive fire in the colder months, we need more fuel to stay warm and nourished in the form of food. The ideal winter diet addresses/prevents possible Vata and Kapha imbalances.
Enjoy eating warm, slightly oily, mildly spicy foods, balancing out sour, sweet, bitter, salty, and astringent tastes, and avoid wet, cold, damp foods like frozen and raw foods and dairy products together with overly sweet or overly oily meals. Winter’s the season for nutritious stews, hearty soups, and healthy casseroles.
Begin the day by having a glass of warm water with dry or freshly grated ginger and the juice of half a lemon. This will aid digestion, help increase your appetite, and stimulate healthy bowel movement.
Sip warm teas spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves throughout the day to help warm you and keep the digestive fire burning. In the evening, have warm almond or cashew milk spiced with nutmeg and turmeric. Avoid cold and iced drinks during winter.
Practicing at home offers the freedom of practicing at your own time. We might not always be able to realistically find 60, 75, or even 90 minutes to practice, but we can always find the time to squeeze in 15 minutes of meditation or yoga — even in the chilling winter.
Don’t be intimidated or think by this notion that the home practice needs to be as challenging as the classes that we might find in a studio and that everything has to be just perfect — the heat, the lighting, the sequence, the music.
We will reap the same benefits at home. We’re moving and calming down our body, clearing our head, becoming more mindful, moving energy, reducing our stress, and focusing on our body needs.