These Yoga Poses Will Help You Combat the Winter Blues

Chardé Evans
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Winter can be a time of reflection and rest after fall, but it can also be trying on our physical and emotional bodies. Fortunately, we can use the practice of yoga to combat some of these winter blues and seasonal lows.

During winter, the cool air can bring physical tightness and pain. Combined with holiday celebrations that can lead to disappointment, and seasonal depression as a result of the expectations we put on ourselves, it’s completely normal to come down with a case of the winter blues.

Enter yoga. Yoga has been known to help practitioners lower stress levels, boost muscle definition, increase flexibility, and even promote weight loss. In this article, we’ll look at using yoga as a tool to combat the winter blues that hit us all.
 

Here Are Common Effects of the Winter Blues and Yoga Poses to Combat Them:

 

Yoga Poses to Release Physical Tightness

 
legs_up_the_wall_pose

1. Legs Up the Wall Pose

During the winter, cool weather can decrease blood circulation, so practicing Legs Up the Wall Pose for a few minutes can help to regulate blood circulation and release tightness.
 
 
1_revolved triangle

2. Revolved Triangle Pose

Twists are great for your lower back, shoulders, and neck, because they refresh your organs with new blood flow. Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana) does just that while also strengthening your legs and increasing flexibility in hips, hamstrings, and spine.
 
 
cat cow pose

Cat/Cow Flow

Stiffness in the spine and back is very common in the winter, so you can practice Cat and Cow Flow to help increase flexibility in your spine, and release tension in the muscles in your back.
 
 

Yoga Poses to Change Your Perspective

 
Standing-Forward-Fold-(Uttanasana)

4. Standing Forward Fold

Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana), and all the poses in this series, are inversions. This simply means your head is below your heart, which helps to regulate blood flow and literally “flip” your perspective. This pose specifically can feel like a hug, and could be just what you need if you’re feeling down.
 
 
shoulderstand

5. Supported Shoulderstand

For a bit more intensity, try inverting into Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana). While continuing to flip your perspective, Supported Shoulderstand improves circulation to your upper body and brain while also aiding digestion and calming your mind.
 
 
supported headstand

6. Supported Headstand

The most advanced inversion we’ll cover in this series, be sure you can safely flip upside-down into Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana), with or without a wall, before practicing. This pose reduces swelling in your legs, strengthens your abdominals, shoulders, and spine, and helps you develop laser-sharp focus.
 

 

Yoga Poses to Boost Your Mood

 
camel pose

7. Camel Pose

Camel Pose (Ustrasana) opens your heart chakra, expands your chest, and cultivates a sense of vulnerability. You’ll definitely feel the boost in your mood!
 
 
goddess

8. Goddess Pose

Practicing Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana) connects you to your essential and unchanging Self by integrating your upper and lower energy centers. By connecting to your capital-S Self, you can stop sweating the little things and be on your way to true happiness.
 
 
Scale Pose

9. Scale Pose

Scale Pose (Tolasana) can boost your mood as you connect to your strength within. This powerful pose strengthens your arms and wrists, tones your abs, and can help to calm your mind.
 

Yoga for the Winter Blues: The Takeaway

Life is truly a cycle, and working through the winter blues is just one of those cycles. As winter comes to an end and we prepare for spring, we can embrace a time for new beginnings. Hopefully these yoga poses have helped you heal yourself from within by easing your physical and mental tension.
 
Namaste!
 

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Chardé Evans

Chardé began her yoga journey during college in 2010. She completed Vinyasa Yoga teacher training at Yoga Yoga in Austin, TX. For the past year, Chardé has been traveling around the world teaching yoga. She has written two e-books for wellness and yoga. To check them out, visit her Etsy store.

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