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Yoga for All Seasons: Winter
Posted By Nichole Golden On January 8, 2013 @ 10:00 am In Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga | 2 Comments
It is important that we change with the seasons just as nature does by adapting our daily habits, yoga practice  and food choices. During the winter season , the energy of the Earth and its creatures is drawn inward. We can use this time for restoration and introspection, just as many plants and animals use it for hibernation. In preparation for the spring, it is important to slow down and rejuvenate.
There is a rule in Ayurveda  that “like attracts like.” That is why the kapha and vata doshas can become provoked and aggravated during the dry, dark, cold months of winter. This is because the climate is alike the qualities of these two doshas. If kapha or vata are triggered, digestive fire plummets, leaving you more susceptible to colds, poor circulation, joint pains and negative emotions. Here are some yoga and lifestyle tips that can help you to balance your doshas  this season.
The winter months are notorious for colds and flus , so poses that open the chest, throat and sinuses will aid in improving congestion and supporting your respiratory organs. The following poses are metabolically invigorating and help to warm the kidneys and clear phlegm.
1. Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) : This invigorating invocation to your yoga practice helps build heat in the body. Do up to 12 rounds.
3. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) : Open your chest with this backbend. Do up to three sets.
5. Salabhasana (Locust Pose) : This “baby backbend” opens the chest while strengthening the back. Do up to three sets.
Follow this sequence with Breath of Fire Pranayama , also know as kapalabhati breathing, a practice that builds internal heat and eliminates mucus from the respiratory tract. These are rapid, sharp exhales, passive inhales, and a snapping of your lower abdomen. You can start with cycles of 30 breaths and gradually increase up to 100, for 3-5 rounds.
End your practice with Shavasana (Corpse Pose) .
If your natural tendency is to eat warmer and heartier meals  during the winter, you are on the right track! In response to cold weather, the body constricts the pores on your skin and the superficial connective tissue to prevent heat loss. This directs heat away from the peripheral tissues and into the body’s core. Because of this, your appetite becomes stronger in winter.
However, although we are designed to eat more in the winter, the selection of foods is still important. Try to pick foods that will keep your immune system vibrant and that minimize congestion.
Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com
URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/yoga-for-all-seasons-winter/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Winter-Yoga.jpg
 yoga practice: http://www.gaiam.com/yoga/3010000,default,sc.html?code=WG137SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod
 winter season: http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-stay-healthy-happy-fit-winter
 Ayurveda: http://www.gaiamtv.com/video/basics-ayurveda?chan=GaiamLife&utm_source=GaiamLife&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=10day
 balance your doshas: http://life.gaiam.com/article/whats-your-dosha-ayurveda-101
 colds and flus: http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-avoid-colds-flu
 Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation): http://life.gaiam.com/video/sun-salutation-how-rodney-yees-yoga-beginners
 Matsyasana: http://life.gaiam.com/article/10-essential-yoga-poses-how-video-rodney-yee
 Dhanurasana (Bow Pose): http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/875
 Salamba Sarvangasana: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/480
 Salabhasana (Locust Pose): http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/789
 Breath of Fire Pranayama: http://www.gaiamtv.com/video/fire-transformation?chan=GaiamLife&utm_source=GaiamLife&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=10day
 Shavasana (Corpse Pose): http://blog.gaiam.com../blog/savasana-relaxation-pose-how-to-video/
 warmer and heartier meals: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/foods-to-keep-you-warm/
 soups/stews: http://life.gaiam.com/article/warming-winter-soups
 warm teas: http://life.gaiam.com/article/liquid-healing-herbal-teas-fight-inflammation
 hearty, warm breakfast: http://life.gaiam.com/article/easy-breakfast-recipes-start-your-day
 workout routine: http://www.gaiam.com/fitness/4010000,default,sc.html?code=WG137SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod
 warm-mist humidifier: http://www.gaiam.com/warm-cool-mist-humidifier/06-0737_1,default,pd.html?code=WG137SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod
 neti pot: http://www.gaiam.com/Neti-Wash-Plus/95-0788,default,pd.html?code=WG137SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod
 mood-boosting light therapy: http://www.gaiam.com/happylite-deluxe-light-bath/08-0330,default,pd.html?code=WG137SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod
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