With the winter season being notorious for bugs spreading around, we will all be looking to do anything we can to avoid them, or if we are unlucky enough to catch one, we will be searching for ways to make ourselves feel better!
I am a great believer in yoga for health, and it can be used to help or heal most things – and is a great natural remedy to try first before turning to medications.
Did you know that inverted poses increase the circulation of our lymphatic system? The lymphatic system is a clear watery fluid that moves through the body, stimulated by muscular contraction, collecting all the bacteria and viruses and filtering them out via the lymph nodes.
Here are a few yoga for health poses that will help keep you warm, open the chest, throat and sinuses, helping to clear congestion and improve, as well as stimulate your lymphatic system to cleanse the body.
Winter Yoga for Health
Sun salutations are a great way to start your day no matter what season – designed to gently wake the body up, build heat (to keep you warm) as well as help focus the mind and improve mobility. You can watch our Sun Salutations tutorial video here…
Wide Leg Forward Fold
Increase flexibility, ease fatigue and activate your lymphatic system with this forward bend.
This pose also helps to improve digestion and can provide relief from mild backaches. To get into this pose take a wide stance with your feet – toes pointing forwards, inhale to bring the arms up above the head, lifting and lengthening through the spine, then exhale as you reach ‘up and over’ bringing the chest towards the gap between your thighs and the crown of your head should hang towards the ground. Option to take hands to the floor, or clasp behind the back in a reverse arm stretch. Hold for 10 breaths.
Open up your chest with this backbend and improve your respiratory system. This pose is also brilliant to help with fatigue. If you cannot reach your feet feel free to use a strap to help you get there or practice locust pose instead. Start in a pronate position, reach back and grab the feet, clasping the heads around the ankle region. Option to flex or point the toes. Take a deep inhale to lift, hold for three full breaths, then on final exhale lower back down – repeat 3-5 times.
Supported shoulder stand
An inverted pose that will help stimulate your lymphatic system, improving your immune system, as well as opening out the chest, shoulders and throat. This pose also promotes good blood circulation, calms the nerves, and eases fatigue. Try holding this pose for 10 full breaths.
An advanced pose that takes a great deal of practice to achieve, however, it is the perfect pose to keep you warm and strong during the winter months. The headstand has many benefits from strengthening the entire body to calming your brain and helping you focus better. If you are not confident enough yet to practice this pose freestanding, you can try practising against a wall. If you are new to headstands then we would strongly advise that you first try this posture under supervision. Flotality run Inversion Workshops for beginners, you can view our latest dates here…
Or if you are a little far away, we also wrote a blog teaching how to headstand and the variations – you can read this here…
Interested in trying our yoga classes this winter?
Flotality run a number of different classes and workshops, providing semi-private sessions in our beautiful and tranquil garden room. For more information or to view our full timetable click here.