Benefits Of Winter Yoga - Part I

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Benefits of winter yoga is nothing technical as it might sound. In general, practicing yoga has innumerable benefits. Though these benefits are not seasonal, but performing certain kind of yogasnas can prove especially beneficial in winters.

It is quite common that a change in season brings its own set of problems along with the benefits. Arrival of the winter season brings along various problems like:

  • Joint Pains
  • Breathing problems
  • Chappy and dull skin
  • Cold, cough and immunity-related diseases
  • Chills down the spine due to low body heat.

But there is no need to stress yourself when you have the magic of yoga with you. With winters comes chill; So do yoga to chill.

The most common and magical benefit of doing yoga is relaxation. Be it stress in your body muscles or mind, yoga can help you relieve the unnecessary stress. Though there are numerous yoga asanas that you can perform for extracting various benefits, certain yoga asanas work wonders when it comes to surviving the chilly winters.

Winter Yoga and its Benefits

Dhanurasana

Also called the Bow Pose, this asana can be very beneficial during winters.

Winter Yoga - Dhanurasana

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Instructions:

  • Lie down on the yoga mat facing downwards
  • Inhale, bend your knees and lift your ankles
  • Hold your ankles with your hands and raise your neck in the front
  • The body posture now represents an archer’s bow
  • Maintain this pose for around 20 seconds and then exhale
  • Repeat 1 - 2 times

Benefits:

  • Helps reduce belly fat
  • Improves breathing
  • Strengthens chest, back and abdominal muscles
  • Flexibility in back
  • Tones legs, arms, and shoulders 

Caution:

People suffering from blood pressure, serious neck or lower back injuries, abdominal surgery should avoid doing it or consult an expert yoga trainer for the same.

Pranayama - Kapalabhati

This is a magical breathing exercise which has amazingly positive effects on your mind and body.

Pranayama - Kapalabhati

Image Source: lifestylehindi.com

Instructions:

  • Sit in padmasana with your spine straight and eyes closed. 
  • Inhale through your nose and do it deep enough to fill your lungs with air.
  • Now exhale in a way that your stomach goes deep inside
  • Remember that the inhale-exhale process should be with good force and must be done in a rapid motion.
  • You may start with 30 breathing cycles and gradually increase as comfortable. 
  • Doing it for 5 to 7 minutes is good.

Benefits:

  • Provides warmth to body by generating internal heat
  • Improves blood circulation and immunity
  • Enhances face luster and beauty
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves digestion, liver and kidney functions

Caution:

People with heat-related gastric problems and ulcers should practice under supervision or after consultation. If you are suffering from high blood pressure or heart diseases or epilepsy, you must avoid it.

Sarvangasana

This is a powerful yoga pose which is also nick-named as the mother of all yoga poses.

Powerful Winter Yoga - Sarvangasana

Image Source: www.sunwarrior.com

It means - an all limb pose. In this yoga pose, the weight of your body rests on the bony part of your shoulders. Many variations of this asana can be practiced. It is also known as the shoulderstand pose.

Instructions:

  • Lie down with back on the ground. 
  • Raise your legs upward and bring them to a 90-degree angle
  • Now place your hands beneath your lower back and raise your lower back upward as well
  • You will now be in an upward posture with your spine & upper back and head on the ground. 
  • Maintain this pose for around 25 to 30 seconds and then slowly retreat to your original position.
  • Repeat this movement 3 to 4 times.

Benefits:

  • This winter yoga pose enhances the supply of blood to the head and face region. Thus, it works wonders for your skin by delaying aging and preventing pimples and wrinkles.
  • It is a useful yoga pose for people suffering from insomnia. 
  • It helps in generating body heat which aids in burning fat
  • It improves respiratory and circulatory system of the body
  • It is one of the best yoga poses for regulating the functions of various body glands.

Caution:

Women should avoid this asana during mensuration period. People with chronic neck problems, spinal & shoulder injuries, and retina problems should not practice this asana. Do not practice this asana if you have high blood pressure.

In addition to the above-described yoga poses, there are a few more that can do wonders for your health this winter. 
Wondering what they are?
Well, don’t worry, we will not keep you waiting for long. Stay tuned for the "Benefits Of Winter Yoga Part II" 

Till then - 
Practice the above yoga poses, Enjoy the winter season and most importantly... Relax and Chill! 

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