Down-dogging through the Snow: The Benefits of Yoga in the Winter Season

Even for the most devoted yogi, the winter months can be a drag when it comes to getting motivated to hit the mat. We get it — cold, dark, lonely — who wouldn’t want to stay curled up at home? But consistently skipping your workout could backfire, especially in the colder months when your body (and mind) are most vulnerable to sickness and stress. So don’t take the season off. Here are some reasons to amp up your yoga practice this winter.

Prevent Stiff Joints
Colder temperatures create stiff joints and enhance chronic joint pain. The consistent flow of Vinyasa provides a way to maintain joint mobility and increase circulation to loosen any stiffness you might be experiencing.

Protect the Lower Respiratory System
If you’ve ever tried to exercise outside when it’s cold you know that breathing in that air creates an uncomfortable burning sensation in the lungs. Yoga is a great way to work on your breathing without having to expose your body to the harsh temperatures of winter. Steady breathing through the nose warms air before it enters the lungs, thereby eliminating any constrictions that result from cold air entering the body. Breathing through the nose can also help decrease nasal congestion and clear out the sinuses.

Shed Toxins
Practicing yoga in temperatures above 90 degrees can help you sweat out any toxins while simultaneously boosting the immune system. A body flooded with toxins is much more likely to succumb to illness. However, perspiration combined with yogic movement and breathing can help cleanse the body of viruses and congestion.

Elevate Your Mood
It’s no secret that the holidays are a stressful time. Everything from the strain on our wallets with holiday shopping, to the stress on our bodies with endlessly packed calendars. Stress is the body’s ultimate nemesis when it comes to staying healthy. Practicing yoga and daily meditation can help reduce both physical and mental stress, making sure you’re strong enough to fight germs and feel more relaxed.

If you want to combat the winter blues and feel invigorated and energized, the answer is clear: MORE YOGA!

Asheville Yoga Center is the South’s largest yoga studio, serving Western North Carolina and beyond for over 20 years. It is the mission of Asheville Yoga Center to provide the highest education of hatha yoga, teaching with compassion and acceptance through over 100 classes per week and world-renowned teacher training in their first of its kind solar-powered campus. #liveloveayc. For more information visit