Sure any exercise in Winter is
of course great for the body, but did you know yoga in Winter is most important to stabilise mental health and wellbeing?
Although I feel by nature humans are designed to hibernate throughout the winter months, our lives and the lives we have created for ourselves does not reflect our true nature of humans lived so many centuries ago.
From spending the Spring months growing, the summer months gathering and hunting to the Winter months then being spent hiding out of the cold and only coming out when necessary, man has certainly evolved into something entirely different, the opposite no doubt of what Mother Nature intended. Or so I believe anyway.
We now spend too many hours at work and less time with family and friends, work hard to play hard, leaving hardly any space for our spiritual self to grow and be nurtured.
Of course many would probably disagree with a lot of what I am saying and mostly likely would respond with the idea humans were meant to evolve to what we are today, and that it was a natural evolutionary process to make life easier where we no longer have to gather, hunt or feel unprotected in our environment.
However, I disagree entirely of course. We created this world, as a result of the living in the digital age, where we have been forced to no longer require our senses as computers do it all for us.
But I digress, and in-fact this post is dedicated to the idea of the important of doing yoga in Winter compared to any other form of exercise. I suppose my introduction to this piece is to first set the scene of why being grounded in Winter is the ultimate way to reground yourself back to the earth, re-centre yourself and remember why you are on the path you are.
Or perhaps to help you re-find your path should you feel you have strayed.
I have been so run down lately, to the point where i picked up a very nasty head cold and found myself working from bed and quarantining myself from the rest of my people to ensure I didn’t pass on whatever germs I had. The result of this, was suffering through very cold Winter temps and no yoga to help me cleanse the body of any toxins.
Two weeks of no yoga! at first I thought I was managing, but the truth was, I wasn’t. It had been a while since I had gone that long without doing any yoga. In-fact ever since my FAVE yoga studio closed down, to which I had been attending yoga classes for more than six years at, I have been making sure to spend at least an hour each afternoon doing my own practice, to keep me centered, grounded and of course well stretched.
So not doing it for two weeks, was tough.
Last weekend, I went and did a Winter Yin yoga class with the bestie. It was fabulous, but it also made me realise I had not done a proper yoga class in over a month, and hadn’t done any yoga in over two weeks. I struggled.
I found it difficult to stretch the muscles and was so tight and restricted in the chest, the heart and especially the hips. I haven’t felt like this since I first started my yoga journey more than eight years ago and I was completely shocked and upset with myself that my body had reset itself back to its old ways of feeling tired, stressed and sore.
It was a terribly cold day as well, maximum of fourteen degrees, with most of the East Coast of Australia being impacted by southern Arctic winds, icy as hell, the type of wind which goes straight through you to the bones. I hate to think how Victoria and Tasmania were fairing as they would have been taking the full brunt of the winds for sure.
This now brings me to the importance of doing yoga in Winter, compared to any other exercise, though I am sure there are a few out there who may disagree with me. And that’s okay, each to your own I suppose.
So here’s the thing. After feeling tired, stressed and completely exhausted mentally from a very taxing week, sitting in a yoga room filled with crystals, listening to music made by monks and the voice of the yoga instructor talking us through a guided meditation and reflective voice on all the poses, my mind started to re-centre and balance out everything I had gone through over the last two weeks.
From decisions I’d made, to choices made for me and even stress created by other people who don’t understand the problems they create when they are thoughtless and unappreciative of the people around them. It gave me time to remember not everyone is on this same journey with me, of feeling enlightened and strong with the use of yoga and the movement to music.
And to be frank with you, as much as most people would disagree, you can’t get any of that from any other exercise. Work out as hard as you want in the gym or run as fast as you can on the beach, your mind will still be left behind as you burn through your stress. Yoga has a way of reconnecting the mind to your body, unlike anything else.
And there are plenty of studies and science to back that claim. Oh and by the way, that is NOT me in the feature image LOL.