There are so many reasons to make a yoga practice part of your active life. And a crisp winter day can magnify the positive impacts in many ways. Here are six reasons yoga is cool this winter.

The Art of Cool
[/media-credit] Ariel Whittaker-Brown holds crescent lunge pose overlooking Lake Louise, Alta.
Photo by Dirk Teunissen

Embrace Change

The changing of the seasons can be a good time to embrace transition in your life. Take a lesson from Mother Nature; like the leaves falling from trees, learn to shed what you don’t need. Take a moment of stillness and move towards new growth.

Be Strong, Supple

When the temperature drops too low, our bodies shiver to conserve heat, which can create tension in the neck and shoulders. Yoga is a great way to get those cold muscles warmed up, so your body stays strong and supple throughout the year.

Get Outside

Cold Canadian winters can mean far too much time indoors! Canadians can be low in vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, which is important for bone health. Along with a vitamin D supplement, a quick trip to your local yoga studio will encourage you to get outside and soak in some sunshine. Also consider this: a daily yoga practice has been shown to reduce S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and gets your breath and body flowing to promote warmth and happiness — a winning winter combo.

Boost Endorphins

A great yoga practice will get endorphins flowing that put you in a good mood and help to keep your immune system strong just when you need it most — as cold and flu season settles in.

Warm Up

Vinyasa Flow will warm you up from the inside out! Try practicing Ujjayi breath (Ujjayi Pranayama) which is a heating breath that helps to prepare the body for practice, while calming the nervous system into a state of balance and receptivity.

Just Chill

Winter is the perfect time to get cozy and chill out. Throw on your favourite comfy sweater and socks, pull up a warm blanket and yoga bolster while you prepare your body for a slow and soothing practice. This restful style, such as restorative yoga, is the human equivalent to hibernation. You’re guaranteed to wake up refreshed, renewed and ready to embrace winter! Or at least a warm cup of tea by the fireplace.