Yoga can be a powerful tool to combat the winter blues as we start to enter the colder months of the year. You might find yourself feeling lethargic and it might become harder to get out of bed in the morning with lowered temperatures. These are common symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a seasonal form of depression which is triggered by the lack of sunshine and vitamin D absorption. This is caused from a shift in your body’s circadian rhythm that affects your
serotonin and melatonin.
Some ways that yoga can help are:
- Increases levels of serotonin and dopamine: Yoga has been shown to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which are neurotransmitters associated with feelings of happiness and well-being.
- Reduces stress: Yoga has been shown to reduce the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) within the body, which helps to combat stress and anxiety that often come with the winter blues.
- Increases energy: Yoga can help to increase your energy levels.
Yoga practice is a great way to combat SAD by tapping into the mind-body connection and is an incredible way to reset the body’s nervous system. If you find yourself feeling down or a little blue through the winter months, here are a couple of styles of yoga and poses that can be beneficial to help you feel better through the colder months:
- Restorative yoga: is a slow based style of yoga that will help to lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Restorative yoga releases muscular tension and reduces fatigue which overall will improve you quality of sleep and immune response which helps to manage chronic pain. It involves a sequence of between 5-7 postures, supported by props hat will allow you to completely let go and relax. Poses include some light twists, seated forward folds and gentle hip openers and backbends. Some breath work and meditation exercises may also be included in some classes.
- Vinyasa yoga: this style of yoga focuses on linking your breath with movement and is built around sun salutations. Throughout the session you will warm up the body, build up strength and flexibility. You will leave this practice feeling balanced and grounded.
If you find yourself feeling down, make sure to recharge your body with these yoga practices. If the weather allows, move your yoga mat outside and feel the sun on your skin!
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