Maryanne Edwards, yoga instructor and founder of Organically Wealthy, reveals her top 5 winter yoga tips for radiating beauty and health from the inside out.
In Winter we spend more time inside simply because it’s cold out. From a yogi perspective this is a wonderful opportunity to reassess our practices and rituals. Just like anything in existence we humans are subject to the cycles of nature - activity is just as important as restoration (who feels better after a good night's sleep?). We tend to thrive more and be in higher spirits in warmer months but that is not sustainable 365 days a year so the invitation of Winter is to preserve.
Here a few suggestions for how to tweak your yoga practice in the darker months:
Keep your ritual, roll your mat out or get to a class, your metabolism needs you to stay active or it won’t, like increases like.
Slow it down. Take a little longer warming up. More than ever your movements should take on a meditative quality. Intentional placement of your body, slowing down will allow you to notice the subtleties of the practice and encourage a spirit of inquiry which is supported by the season of going in.
I prefer standing postures in winter that ground without encouraging lethargy, think warrior poses, extended side angle pose, chair pose, triangle pose. Spend 5-10 breaths in each.
Allow some time to be still, even if just a few minutes. Yin yoga or meditation are great additions to your routine if Vinyasa or yang style activities currently dominate. Stillness is essential to both preservation and restoration, especially at the mind level. Try to give bare attention to the natural flow of your breath without enhancing or controlling it, you will likely wander from that practice fairly swiftly but renew your attention again and again as many times as you need to encourage calm concentration.
Staying indoors makes way for other nourishing mind practices: reading, journalling, even active listening exercises with your partner or friend - spend 5 minutes speaking (or listening) about anything at all without interrupting then swap.
Images: Chen Ryan for Flow Athletic
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