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Unlocking Winter Wellness: The Benefits of Yoga

Best reasons to perform these Yoga poses during the cool season.

I love to feel the sun on my skin and the earth beneath my feet as I start my morning yoga session, so I used to think that every exercise had its place. Weightlifting at the gym or swimming at the Y, you can practice Yoga anywhere. I can perform at home, the gym, or with friends while an experienced yoga teacher guides me. But Yoga is not just for the outdoors on hot summer days; it is a beneficial workout anywhere year-round. 

How do we benefit from performing yoga in the winter? Like all exercises, studies have shown that yoga can raise your core temperature while performing. By improving blood circulation and increasing your heart rate, you can raise your core temperature while you practice. It can also counteract the effects of colder temperatures on muscles and joints by stretching and strengthening the body. 

Besides the physical advantages of yoga, there are benefits for your mental health as well. The American Osteopathic Association states that “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention; and sharpens concentration.” You may wonder why this matters when all that is happening is a drop in temperature, and it’s not just the change in temperature that affects everyone, but the amount of daylight we receive, the change in outdoor activities besides yoga that we used to enjoy, such as swimming, that are on hold until summer. For most people, the change in routine can change our moods and behavior, and by practicing yoga, we can make the seasonal transition seamless.

The last reason why yoga should be performed even in colder seasons is for your spiritual welfare. Through yoga you can practice poses such as these to help connect with the Chakra points in your body. While you practice yoga, you can also open up the different points of Charka and help align yourself to the chakra openings. That is to say, different poses bring different results to your body, which you will find while reading our blog. 

While you shouldn’t practice midway through a snowstorm, you can still progress mentally, spiritually, and physically after one session. 

Benefits of Yoga Poses Beginning with the First Pose:

  1. Palm Tree Pose:
    • Instructions: Stand with feet hip-width apart, inhale and raise one arm overhead. Exhale and gently bend to the side, creating a lateral stretch. Keep the feet grounded and avoid collapsing into the side. Inhale back to the center and repeat on the other side.
    • Benefits: This pose not only improves flexibility in the waist and ribs but also elongates the spine. The stretch across the intercostal muscles enhances breathing capacity, and the extension of the arms intensifies the stretch, promoting better shoulder mobility.
    • Chakra Points: Activates the Solar Plexus Chakra, fostering a sense of personal power and balance
  2. Volcano Pose:
    • Instructions: Begin in upward salute (raised arms overhead), maintaining a neutral spine. Exhale and gently lean to one side, creating a lateral stretch. Keep the core engaged. Inhale back to the center and repeat on the other side.
    • Benefits: This pose combines the benefits of a side bend with engagement of the abdominal muscles, promoting core strength. The elongation of the spine contributes to improved posture.
    • Chakra Points: Influences the Heart Chakra, promoting compassion and self-love.
  3. Palm Tree Pose Side Bend: 
    • Instructions: Stand tall in mountain pose, bring hands into a namaste position overhead, and lift the gaze upward. Engage the core and ground the feet for stability.
    • Benefits: This variation promotes balance and concentration, inviting mindfulness into the practice. The overhead stretch lengthens the spine and strengthens the arms.
    • Chakra Points: Aligns with the Crown Chakra, connecting to higher consciousness.
  4. Upward Salute Side Bend Pose:
    • Instructions: In mountain pose, exhale and twist the torso to one side at shoulder level. Spread out the arms to open the chest. Inhale back to the center and repeat on the other side.
    • Benefits: Engages the obliques, stimulates digestive organs, and relieves tension in the chest and shoulders. The spreading of the arms enhances circulation.
    • Chakra Points: Activates the Heart Chakra, fostering love and emotional balance.
  5. Upward Mountain Pose Namaste Hands: 
    • Instructions: Similar to the previous pose, with arms at shoulder level. Focus on the mid-level twist, engaging the core muscles for stability.
    • Benefits: Targets the thoracic spine, enhancing spinal mobility, and tones the abdominal area for improved stability.
    • Chakra Points: Connects with the Solar Plexus Chakra, promoting confidence and personal power.
  6. Mountain Pose Twist Arms Shoulder Level Spread Out: 
    • Instructions: In mountain pose, exhale and stretch both arms outward, emphasizing the extension of the arms and the opening of the chest. Keep the shoulders relaxed.
    • Benefits: Enhances shoulder flexibility, opens up the chest, and serves as a preparatory pose for backbends. The elongation of the arms creates a sense of expansion.
    • Chakra Points: Aligns with the Throat Chakra, facilitating clear communication and self-expression.

By practicing these poses together, individuals can experience a comprehensive sequence that not only addresses physical benefits but also aligns with specific chakra points, fostering holistic well-being, balance, and a deeper connection between the body and mind. This intentional practice becomes a journey of self-discovery and inner harmony.

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