The days are shorter and colder so it's only natural our energy levels take a dip during this time of the year.
However, the practice of yoga can support you in this transition from Summer to Winter and help maintain your vitality, so you don't feel so tired all the time.
In this blog post, we'll be bringing your energy back and combating winter fatigue with these 3 yoga-based exercises that you can easily do on your own at home, or during your breaks at work.
These are the top yoga exercises to combat the winter fatigue:
#1 Full breath retention
This is one of the most important and foundational breathing exercises in yoga. We do it regularly in class to relieve tension and stress, and recharge.
The really powerful thing about this exercise is the breath retention that follows the inhalation. When we retain our breath, we're supplying more oxygen to our body and brain that would've otherwise been wasted. This extra oxygen will relax your mind, improve circulation, increase red cells in the body, boost your cognitive function, and overall increase your energy levels.
Here's how you can do it:
Sit on the floor with your legs crossed, or on a chair, with your spine upright and your feet on the floor.
Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
Now inhale and count to 5, through the nose.
Retain your breath with your lungs full. Start by holding for about 5 seconds and gradually increase the retention until you reach 10 seconds.
Exhale counting to 10 through the nose.
Repeat for about 5 to 10 minutes every day.
This breathing exercise can be done everywhere and all the time, but I'd personally recommend that you do it in the morning for more energy and at the end of the day for a complete body and mind reset.
#2 Forward bend
Another great exercise to boost your energy levels are forward bends. When you bend forward, your brain is lower than your heart contributing to lower stress levels and blood pressure.
Bending forward is a good practice to do every day as a way to recharge after work and relieve pressure. It doesn't really matter how far down you can reach as long you relax your shoulders and your neck.
You can also do this post standing up or sitting down, so it's a great one to include for example during your lunch break at work.
Here are some examples:
# 3 Inversions
Apart from forward bends, other incredibly beneficial yoga poses to increase energy levels are inversions.
Much like forward bends, during these poses our head is also lower than our hearts, so there's be a rush of blood to our brains and improved circulation in the upper part of ours bodies without us placing too much effort on our hearts.
Regarding inversions, there's three main options - shoulder stands, headstands and handstands. If you're a beginner and never attempted a headstand before, I would start with a shoulder stand. Like this:
Shoulder stands in particular, are a great option if you walked a lot or stood for the majority of the day, as it will also help relieve pressure in the lower part of your body as you blood moves up towards your heart and your head.
As you do these exercises by yourself, remember to be gentle and take care. They don't have serious secondary effects, and can be done daily (especially the breathing exercise). However, if you suffer from high blood pressure or struggle with injuries on your lower back, neck, and limbs these yoga poses should be avoided.
Give them a try on the days the cold weather and early nights are dragging you down for a little pick me up.
You can thank me later ;)
And if you're looking for a safe space to rest and relax at the end of your busy day, then know I'm here to help you relieve stress and guide you back home to yourself.
My online yoga classes are slow, gentle, mindful, and friendly for yogis of all levels. Join me on the mat Tuesday evenings and Friday mornings for only £22 a month (less than 0.8p a day).
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About the author
Hi! I'm Cat, the founder of Yogaful Studio. My mission is to support you calm your busy mind and guide you towards your best, most authentic life - with less stress, more purpose, joy, and love. So if you have a demanding job and a hectic life running miles an hour, Yogaful Studio is the place for your to find rest, balance, and peace.