Yoga Poses for Seasonal Depression

There are many ways we can tend to our emotions, and during winter, we may need more care in this area. Many people struggle with Winter, as it brings colder, darker, and longer days. Often, days like this can cause feelings of sadness and hopelessness to reign supreme in our minds, but it is so important that we remember how strong we are and fight to reconnect to our inner peace, joy, and harmony. 

It is so important to accept the circumstances outside of ourselves that we cannot control. Once we have true acceptance for our situation, we can make changes according to our needs. We always have the power to choose joy and peace, we just have to take the steps to cultivate them. 

One of my favorite ways to practice self care during winter is through Yoga. Yoga is so special because it drastically improves our mental health as well as our physical health. Yoga also helps us to create our own internal warmth, therefore making it the perfect practice for cold winter days! 

Never fear, if a full yoga class doesn’t fit into your schedule, or if you’re just not interested in a 60 minute flow- you can absolutely practice just one or two poses a day to quickly nourish and warm your mind, body, and spirit. 

Read on as I share my top 3 favorite Yoga poses to cultivate warmth, inspire joy, and return you to peace. 

  1. Downward facing dog. Starting in a table top position on your hands and knees, spread your palms nice and wide and tuck all ten toes. Begin lifting the knees as you send the hips up and back. In your down dog, you can reach the heart towards the tops of your thighs and pedal out the feet by bending one knee at a time, warming and stretching the backs of the legs deeper. Hold here for 10-30 seconds and try to take this in 3 rounds of repetition. You’ll instantly feel more alive, awake, and warmed! 
  2. Chair pose. This is a strengthening yoga pose that will help you to build better posture, relieve low back pain, and strengthen your legs. Feel free to take this pose as a break from sitting or lying, and watch as it instantly warms your body, and activates your muscles to support healthy posture and greater comfort when sitting.  To take Chair Pose, begin standing tall and bring the feet directly beside each other. Activate the inner thighs to gently squeeze together as you start to sink the hips down and back, as if you are sitting in an invisible chair. Keep the back strong and straight and the heart lifted. Reach the arms up over head or simply bring them to the heart center. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds and take 3 rounds of repetition.
  3. High Plank. This a yoga pose that will help you to quickly build heat and improve posture through building greater core strength. Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees and tuck all ten toes. When you’re ready, float your knees and bring the body into a flat, board-like position. Feel your core activate and breath deeply as you hold this powerfully strengthening position. Hold for 10-30 seconds and take 3 rounds of repetition. Practicing plank poses regularly will also help to reduce chronic back pain. 

Give one of these yoga poses a try next time you’re feeling the winter blues take over and notice how just one moment of self care can bring great and healing benefits. Always remember that you have the power to cultivate joy and love each and every day. It all comes down to the choices we make.