28 Dec Yogic ways in which you can take care of yourselves during the winter
Even though a little late, winters are finally upon us! With this, it brings a lot of questions in our mind related to our health, such as,
- What should I eat in Winters to remain healthy?
- Should my Yoga practice be any different in Winters?
- How to avoid falling sick with the temperature change?
- How to get rid of the Cold and Flu?
- My body feels very stiff in the winters, do I still need to practice Yoga?
- What are some Yoga poses that I can do in Winters?
The list of questions can be endless but Yoga practice has answers to all of them.
Winters can definitely make you feel like ditching the Yoga mat, however, don’t give in to that temptation. Winters are the ideal time to ‘up your health game.’ The weather change can impact your body in a major way. Now, it is up to us how we decide to let it affect us. The regular practice of Yoga will ensure that we stay healthy not only from the outside but from the inside as well. The low temperature and the humidity that winter brings along with it tends to cause an imbalance in the body. This imbalance further affects our total health and well-being. The two systems of the body that take a major hit during winters are the Digestive and Circulatory systems.
Here are some Yogic ways in which you can take care of yourselves during the winter:
- Asanas: With regular practice of Asanas, you won’t even find the need to depend on external heaters. Our bodies are capable enough to withstand the cold and generate heat from the inside. During winters, yes, it’s true that the body and muscles do get stiff. However, we need to incorporate Yoga to keep them open up. Start off your practice by doing gently stretches and loosening exercises like Sahaj Bhavasanas. These are the preparatory practices that warm-up the body to do asanas and lets the body flow easily without any stiffness. This also improves the blood circulation in the body, which further warms it up.
Always start your mornings with some stretches like Yastikasana. You can also do this asana in bed. All you have to do is, take your arms above the head, and stretch upward while stretching your legs downward. The opposite pull and stretch will help to open up the body.
You should also take a walk in the morning and let the body loosen up naturally. This way, you’ll also be exposed to the morning sunlight, which has a lot of benefits for the body and mind.
For your proper Asana practice, you can do that in the evenings or right before your meals when the stomach is already empty. Include a lot of dynamic asanas, some of the yoga poses you can do in the winter season are:
– Surya Namaskar
All these practices generate heat from the inside and also improves the blood circulation.
- Pranayama: Pranayama practices, if done correctly, have a lot of benefits in the winter. It is recommended to learn these Yogic techniques under the guidance of an able teacher or you could just visit The Yoga Institute, Goa, to learn it in the correct Traditional manner.
A few of the Pranayama practices that are recommended in the winters are:
– Ujjayi Pranayama – as it increases the temperature of the body and gets your heart pumping.
– Kapalbhati – this is another great practice to generate heat within.
– Surya Bhedhan Pranayama – this is also known as the right nostril breathing, and it heats up the body as it directly activates the Sympathetic Nervous System.
- Diet: With the changing season, your diet needs to change as well. If you are healthy and fit from the inside, no external change can have an impact on you.
– Include a lot of green leafy vegetables in your diet.
– Make the most of the fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables available in the winter season as well.
– Since the digestive system is a little weak in the winters, avoid over-feeding the stomach. Learn to eat only when you are hungry and not when the wall-clock says, ‘It’s meal-time!’
– Include Vitamin C in your diet.
– Drink lots of water to flush out the toxins.
– If you can, then drink warm water, as it will also help to clean the system from the inside,
- Hygiene: Winters is also a synonym for the cold and flu season. You need to take extra care and precaution to avoid falling sick. Fever, clogged-up sinuses, cold, cough, and chills are all a part of Winters. For avoiding this, you could take the following measures:
– Maintain healthy bodily hygiene. Yoga puts a lot of emphasis on keeping the body clean not only from the outside but also from the inside.
– Before the onset of winter, practice Jal Neti to get rid of the mucous from the body.
You must also avoid taking afternoon naps in the winter. On the contrary to popular belief, step out of the house as much as you can. Let the body get accustomed to the temperature. Go out for walks or even runs if possible.
All this will help you to have a smooth and warm winter. Enjoy the winters with the power of Yoga on your side!