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The Importance of Movement + Yoga During the Cold Winter Months

Jay MacDonald

Let’s face it; as the cold winter winds and freezing temperatures sweep into our area, we often find ourselves tempted to hunker down on the sofa with warm blankets, curling up to read, binge-watching our favorite shows, or settling in for a long nap. While this is acceptable as an occasional indulgence, spending too much time in these sedentary activities can lead to stiffness and a sense of being stuck, both in our bodies and minds. Even when unable to venture outside for walks or outdoor activities, numerous ways exist to incorporate movement into our daily lives during the chilly winter months.

We tend to hunch forward, guarding and bracing ourselves against freezing temperatures and bone-chilling cold. Yoga poses focusing on warming and opening the arms, shoulders, and upper body can counteract this pattern. A yoga practice helps alleviate the rounding and folding of the upper body, known as forward flexion, which may cause strain and discomfort in the spine, head, neck, and shoulders. Without proactive poses and stretches, we risk feeling stuck in this position due to extended periods spent looking at devices and trying to stay warm.

Colder temperatures can intensify discomfort, particularly with old injuries, chronic conditions like arthritis, and illnesses more prevalent in winter. Movement and breathwork act as medicine to maintain mobility and agility, much like oil keeps the tin man’s joints lubricated and happy. Yoga proves ideal for preserving joint and muscle health.

Some of us grapple with isolation, reduced sunlight, and fewer outdoor activities during the darker, colder months, a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Regular yoga practices can shift us out of this depressive state, elevating energy levels and fostering a more positive mindset. While it may be challenging to find motivation when feeling depressed and weighed down, a mind-body movement practice like yoga can help release stagnant energy.

I believe in you, so let’s get started! The Yoga and Bodywork Collective offers a diverse range of yoga classes, movement practices, massage, and more for your healthiest and happiest self. 

Feel free to email us with any questions; we’re here to help. Our Yoga Basics series is an excellent starting point for newcomers, and we have an introductory offer of 30 days for $79, allowing you to explore our various classes and discover your favorites that leave you feeling restored and refreshed.

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