Cold, dark mornings and winter nights don’t really encourage us to roll out our mat and take part in a yoga class; however, it is perhaps the best thing you can do to support your mind and body during the coldest season of the year.
In addition to cold weather, barometric pressure can also increase joint pain. When there is a decrease in weather conditions, and a lowering of air pressure. tissues in the joints will expand, increasing pressure and pain. Yoga practice aids joint mobility, improves circulation and helps to ease stiffness in the joints.
When the air we breath in is very cold it can constrict the lungs, by practicing our pranayama and breathing in and out through the nose we are warming the air and helping our lung function. Breathing in and out through the nose is also a good way to swirl and filter the aid that we breath.
The benefits of sweating during a strong, yoga practice include cleansing the pores, maintaining skin hydration and suppleness. Working the body hard will also increase cardiovascular and respiratory function, helping to maintain a healthy body weight.
The yogic practice of surya namaskar (sun salutations) can elevate the mood, increase energy levels, and rebalance the circadian rhythms. Practicing yoga asana that contribute to creating a relax and digest state in the body, reducing cortisol and destressing, is the best boost we can give to our immune system to help keep us healthy throughout the winter.