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Winter blues no more: Yoga tips to elevate mood and fight Seasonal Affective Disorder

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Dec 26, 2023 01:57 PM IST

Check out these Yoga tips that offer holistic approach to uplift your spirits, enhance overall well-being and shake off Seasonal Affective Disorder in winters

Yoga experts insist that this fitness practices is not just about striking poses; it is a powerful tool that can help shake off the winter blues and combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). As the days get shorter and colder, many people experience a dip in mood and energy levels. The good news? Yoga offers a holistic approach to uplift your spirits and enhance overall well-being during the winter months.

Mindful Movement

Winter blues no more: Yoga tips to elevate mood and fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, shared, “Engaging in Yoga during winter encourages mindful movement. The deliberate and conscious flow from one pose to another fosters a mind-body connection, grounding you in the present moment. This mindfulness can be a potent antidote to the lethargy and low motivation often associated with the winter blues.”

Deep Breathing

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Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar revealed, “Winter tends to bring a sense of stagnation, both in the air and within ourselves. Yoga emphasizes deep, rhythmic breathing that not only enhances lung capacity but also invigorates the body. The influx of oxygen during yoga practice can boost energy levels and alleviate feelings of sluggishness, helping you breathe away the winter blues.”

Increased Circulation

The cold weather can lead to decreased blood circulation, making you feel chilly and sluggish. Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar said, “Yoga poses, especially those that involve twists and inversions, stimulate blood flow throughout the body. This increased circulation not only warms you up but also ensures that vital nutrients reach all parts of your body, promoting a sense of vitality.”

Natural Mood Boosters

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar informed, “Certain Yoga poses stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's natural mood enhancers. Poses like backbends, inversions and sun salutations can trigger the production of these feel-good chemicals, counteracting the gloominess that often accompanies winter. Forget the winter blues; welcome the winter hues with a Yoga practice that uplifts your mood naturally.”

Talking about stress reduction, he said, “Winter can be a stressful time, with holidays, weather-related challenges, and year-end pressures. Yoga provides a sanctuary to unwind and release tension. The combination of physical postures, deep breathing and mindfulness in Yoga helps activate the body's relaxation response, reducing stress hormones and promoting a sense of calm.”

As for Yoga helping with better sleep, the expert highlighted, “Winter often disrupts sleep patterns, whether it's due to longer nights or the challenges of staying warm. A consistent yoga practice, especially one that includes relaxing poses and meditation, can improve sleep quality. As you wind down with gentle stretches and calming breathwork, you signal to your body that it's time to relax, promoting a restful night's sleep.”

Healing Walk

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar explained, “Healing walk is a special type of body dynamics wherein we form a structure and then use the structure to walk. It is believed that by following this particular method of practice we will be able to prevent and even eliminate many types of diseases that affect the body which even medical science does not have a cure for yet. Whether a person is suffering from physical issues, emotional, mental, or spiritual, healing walk takes care of all these different aspects of one's being.”

He suggested, “Lift your arms up keeping them at shoulder width distance. Now, start walking with your arms raised in this position and your hands can be up in the air for 1-3 minutes. Initially this may not be possible as you will have to train the muscles of your arms and shoulders and strengthen them. Build up to 1-3 minutes gradually by starting of with a minute increase and so on until you are physically capable enough with the strength required to hold your arms up for 1-3 minutes straight. One round practice will require you to perform a minimum of three sets of these walks of minimum 1-3 minutes each. Take your yoga practice off the mat with this mindful walking. Focus on each step, grounding yourself in the present moment. This walking meditation can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety throughout your day.”

He concluded, “Say goodbye to the winter blues by embracing Yoga as a powerful ally in your well-being journey. Its holistic approach, combining movement, breath and mindfulness, addresses the physical and mental aspects of winter challenges. Whether you're a seasoned yogi or a beginner, a winter Yoga routine can be tailored to suit your needs and lift your spirits. So, roll out your mat, breathe deeply and let Yoga be your guide to a brighter and more energised winter season.”

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