Winter is great when the snow starts to fall; the trees and buildings that surround you glisten as the sun reflects off the snow, making the city look a bit magical! However, when the snow continues to fall, going anywhere seems impossible or at least not worth the effort so you are stuck inside for long periods of time. This is when the winter blues kicks in which steals your energy, makes you feel bored and can lead to seasonal depression. All you look forward to is for the spring to hurry up to melt the snow!
If you want a sure fire way to combat your winter blues to re-energize and re-center yourself, try out these yoga poses at home to start feeling better today!
A lot of stress gets built up during the winter which can make its way up to your shoulder and neck area. One of the best ways to stretch your shoulders is by performing the cat pose:
Start with your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
Exhale while keeping your shoulders and knees in position while you round your spine up towards the ceiling. Release your head down towards the floor. Make sure you don’t force your chin to your chest.
Go back to the original tabletop position while you inhale.
The eagle arms pose will help stretch out your upper back while building balance throughout your body. It’s also great for relieving lower back pain if you suffer from it during the winter.
Start in the mountain pose with your arms to your side.
Bend your knees, then cross over your left thigh over your right thigh while balancing on your right foot. Hook your left foot behind your right calf and balance for one breath.
Extend your arms in front of your body and drop your left arm under your right. Bend your elbows, then wrap your arms and hands. Press your palms together, then reach your fingertips to the ceiling. Press your shoulder blades down on your back towards your waist. Hold for one minute and breath smoothly and evenly.
The best way to beat the winter blues is by opening up your chest and heart! If you want a fun yoga pose to open your heart, try the wild thing pose!
Start in the downward facing dog pose, then roll onto the outer edge of your right fook like in a side plank pose.
Inhale and lift your hips. Make a claw with your right hand and keep the head of your right arm bone back. Exhale and step your left foot back. Place your toes on the floor while keeping your knee partially bent.
Curl back by making a sweeping action through your shoulder blades into the back of your rib cage.
Inhale and lift your hips higher.
Curl your head back while you continue to breathe. Extend your left arm from your heart.
Hold for 10 breaths, then return to the downward facing dog pose and repeat on the other side.
Standing Forward Bend
If your head is feeling cluttered because you are cooped up inside all day, try the standing forward bend pose to soothe your mind.
Start with your hands on your hips. Bend forward from your hip joints and exhale.
With your knees straight, reach your fingertips to the floor in front of or beside your feet. If you cannot do this, cross your arms and hold your elbows. Keep your heels firmly on the floor.
When you inhale, lengthen and lift your front torso slightly. When you exhale, release a little more fully into the forward bend.
When getting up, bring your hands back onto your hips then press your tailbone down and come up while inhaling with a long front torso. Do not roll your spine when coming up.
IT Band Stretch
If your IT band is irritated or tight due to sitting around all winter long, try the ankles crossed forward fold pose to help loosen it up.
Stand with your feet together.
Cross your left ankle over your right ankle.
Make a soft bend in your left knee while you begin to fold forward.
Extend your fingertips towards your shins or to the ground.
Repeat on the opposite side.