We're all feeling the winter slump at this point in the season, so why not try something new and relaxing to fight off those blues? Yoga is the perfect activity to keep your mind and body active during these cold months, so keep reading along to learn more about it!
What is yoga?
When you hear about yoga, you probably assume you have to twist yourself into a pretzel to do it. That's actually not the case! Yoga is an ancient practice that can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago in northern India, and it combines body poses with meditation and deep breathing to achieve alignment within your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga has such a rich history, and there are many different types and philosophies of yoga, so anyone can get started regardless of skill level. If you're interested in learning more about the history of yoga, check out this article!
Why should you practice yoga in the winter?
There are several reasons and benefits to practicing yoga in general, but especially during the wintertime. First, it gets your body moving and warms up your muscles, which is great for those chilly winter mornings. Yoga can also provide mental clarity and higher energy levels, and we need all the energy we can get when it gets dark at 5pm. It can also boost your mood and reduce stress levels, and you deserve some sort of sunshine during a gloomy day! You can learn more about the different physical and mental benefits of yoga here.
What do you need to start practicing yoga?
If you think you need to buy a bunch of fancy yoga gear to get started, think again! All you truly need is a yoga mat. But it doesn't hurt to have some other equipment to help you out, like comfy yoga pants and cozy socks you won't slip in. Here are some of our recommendations:
This yoga mat from Amazon has everything you could want! It is made with textured foam to help with traction, plus it comes in a bunch of assorted colors and has a shoulder strap for easy transport from your closet to your living room (or from home to the yoga studio if you're brave enough to go out in the cold).
Some people like to practice yoga barefoot, and some people prefer to wear yoga socks. We fully endorse wearing socks and recommend these Smartwool ones! These socks are lightweight and breathable with a supportive arch brace to keep you cool and comfortable during your routine.
Yoga blocks are super helpful for anyone who practices yoga, but especially for beginners! You can use them for stability while doing certain poses, you can sit on them during a meditation exercise, or you can utilize them for stretching.
These Smartwool leggings are the perfect stretchy, breathable pants you need while doing yoga. They are made with a 4-way stretch fabric, plus a Merino 150 lined waistband to help with sweat-wicking.
Nobody wants to wear a tank top or t-shirt when the temps are this low, so how about a Smartwool quarter zip instead? This one is super lightweight, so you won't get too hot during your yoga flow, and it is super stretchy, so it won't limit your range of motion.
These multi-purpose muscle roller balls are a must if you struggle with muscle pain or want to relieve some pressure points. You can heat them in your microwave to help relieve muscle tension, you can use them for a deep tissue massage to help eliminate muscle knots, and they are becoming increasingly popular in Yin and Yamuna yoga.
How can you start practicing yoga?
Now that you have everything you need to begin your yoga journey, it's time to actually start doing some yoga! There are several different options to do yoga in the winter.
If you're brave enough to leave your house and trek through the ice and snow, then going to a yoga class is probably a good option for you! Yoga studios and gyms offering yoga classes are becoming more common, so a quick search of "yoga near me" should do the trick. Some studios let you try your first class for free, or you can sometimes find some great deals for yoga classes on Groupon!
We personally like to avoid going out in the chilly winter weather at all costs, and if you're like us, then practicing yoga at home is more your vibe. All you need is your phone or laptop, and the possibilities are endless. YouTube is a great resource for doing yoga at home- there are thousands of videos for every skill level and every type of yoga. Yoga with Adriene is an extremely popular channel with playlists for different focuses and even timed sessions.
If you want to do yoga at home but following along with a video isn't your thing, you can also go online and create your own yoga flow! Tummee.com is a great resource where you can sort through hundreds of poses and either follow one of their pre-made flows or create your own if you're feeling bold! The nice thing about this website is that they have pictures and descriptions of each pose and how to do it, and it's so easy to drag and drop each pose to create your own sequence.
Yoga is a great winter activity to help you stay active during the dreary winter months. Whether you sign up for classes or follow along with videos at home, we hope you start enjoying yoga!
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