Winter Yoga Practices To Keep Yourself Warm In The Cold Months

Winter is just around the corner and the blanket is calling! For many of us, this is the go-to winter comfort tagline to stay warm and cozy during the season. However, our body and mind need something more than these things and that is following a regular workout routine that would keep the blood flowing and our mind all alert and active.

There is one form of exercise that works on both planes of our body – the mental and physical and that is ‘Yoga’. With a regular practice of yoga, you can make the winter months super fun, cozy while maintaining a healthy body and mind.

Here, we have laid out the most common winter yoga practices that are useful in maintaining warmth in the body and are also amazing for keeping the mind active. 

If you have not practiced yoga before, then it is an amazing time to get on the mat. But, it is better to do it at a place that is known for yoga and is the birthplace of this science. For that purpose you can join a yoga program at a yoga school in Rishikesh, India or sign up for a yoga retreat.


1. Practice Ujjayi Breathing & Maintain it

Ujjayi breathing is an important part of yoga practices irrespective of the chosen yoga styles. The aim is to keep the Ujjayi breath warm through Pranayama practice.

This helps in developing an increase in focus and imbibing mental discipline. Just focus on inhaling and exhaling at the same length and hold the inhale and exhale for the same duration in a rhythmic motion while performing each pose.

This practice of Ujjayi Pranayama should be kept constant while performing the entire yoga routine. Through its practice, you are strengthening your lung capacity as well as the internal organs that become comparatively constricted under the chill of the winter season. 


2. Practice Kapalabhati Pranayama Daily

Another important routine during the winter yoga practice is the Kapalabhati Pranayama. It is more of a cleansing technique to clear the energy channels in the body and to facilitate a smooth flow of oxygen through the internal system. 

Sit on the floor with your spine in a tall position. Place one hand on the lower abdomen right under your naval. Inhale completely and now exhale the air forcefully outside your body from the lower tummy.

You should feel your palm move towards your spine as you exhale each time. Focus on exhaling while performing this routine at least 25 times. You can gradually increase the number of repetitions.

Related: Top 5 breathing exercise to practice everyday


3. Move towards Sun Salutations (or Surya Namaskar)

Start a wintery morning right by drawing energy from the Sun with Sun Salutations. The Surya Namaskar (aka Sun Salutations) are designed for the yogis to sync their energies with the Sun so the body and mind generate heat and glow from within.

A Sun Salutation series comprises 12 asanas performed in a series of motion so it also offers cardiovascular workout. It might seem strenuous in the beginning, but as your body gets adapted to it, you can really benefit from it in terms of gaining muscular strength and flexibility and of course, to burn off those extra winter holiday calories we consume. 


4. Perform Heated Inversions 

Inversion asanas such as a headstand and its variations are great for engaging the core muscles and to facilitate healthy blood flow to the brain as the positive energies travel downwards from the feet to the head.

Inversions are great for intermediate level to advanced level yogis. So, you might need to gain expertise on these through guided yoga classes before you can start practicing these independently. These asanas are great for strengthening the overall body and even energize a sluggish brain and body. 


5. Boat pose or Navasana

This winter special pose is great for heating up the core muscles (abdominal) and also the hip muscles. One of the poses that can warm you up in an instant, it is also great for maintaining body balance.

For enhanced variation, you can move your arms and hand back and forth and side to side to feel that additional heat in the upper body. Try straightening your legs towards the ceiling and feel a rush of energy surge from within. 


6. Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana

This one is especially for beginner to intermediate level yogis trying to stay in pace with yoga practices. Backbends are great for generating internal heat and to activate the spine. One such easy-to-do and relaxing backbend is the bridge pose.

The pose works on activating the flow of energy from the shoulders, chest to the back and hips. 

Lie on the mat on your back. Now bend your knees and extend your arms flat on the floor on each side of your body.

Gently lift your pelvic region and then your torso above the ground and hold this position for 60 seconds before releasing the pose. Keep Ujjayi breathing active throughout the pose.


7. Plank Pose or Kumbhakasana

This is another great pose for generating heat in the core and is followed even by some athletes to do instant warm up before a practice session.

The yoga pose works on strengthening shoulders, chest, neck and back as well. Lie on the mat on your stomach. Balance your body on the elbows and toes while keeping your back and spine aligned. 


Throughout the practice, try to avoid drinking cold fluids or any fluid as a matter of fact as it can impede the desired outcome from the pose. Instead, drink a glass of warm lemon water before the practice. 

Stay warm, stay happy!

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