8 Yoga Poses That Make You Happy When The Cold Weather's Bumming You Out
Some people are enamored by the first "magical" snowfall of winter, and those people happen to be the reason why I have trust issues in life. Everything about the cold makes me absolutely miserable, and I can't wrap my head around the idea of people actually liking, or even looking forward, to the cold weather. If you feel me on a spiritual level here, these yoga poses that make you happy are sure to keep you going through these dreadfully chilly months.
Whether it's the snowfall bumming you out, or you're simply feeling blue in general, yoga is an amazing way to lift your spirits and turn around a totally "blah" day. A few minutes of flowing and deep breathing on your mat activates your parasympathetic nervous system (which is part of your "involuntary" nervous system that helps you chill out) and causes a rejuvenating sense of peace and serenity to wash over your mind and body.
When you're feeling down in the dumps, and you really don't feel like making the frigid trek to the gym to get those feel-good endorphins pumping, sink into some of these meditative yoga poses instead for a soothing, warm, instant dose of happiness.
1. Child's Pose (Balasna)
Child's pose is restorative AF and significantly reduces stress and fatigue, while gently stretching the muscles in your lower back and hips. This is a pose that you can return to at any point during your practice if you need a rest, or even just a moment to reset and restore your body.
Breathe deeply and expansively as you sink your hips down toward the mat, and relax any unwanted tension you might be holding in your body.
2. Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)
When the thermostat is uncomfortably low, and it's causing you to transform into a cranky, unpleasant version of yourself, sun salutations will warm your body right up, and they might even put a smile on your face.
Surya namaskar harnesses all the good vibes around you and allows you to find the blissful connection between your body and mind as you flow through the sequence of postures.
Once you get the hang of the fluid movements, try doing a round with your eyes closed, savoring the lighthearted playfulness that is flowing in the present moment.
3. Wild Thing (Camatkarasana)
According to Yoga Journal, Camatkarasana translates to "the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart." I mean, if that doesn't lift your spirits on a dreary day, I don't know what will, fam.
On the real though, backbends such as wild thing are so therapeutic, because they open up the heart space and build up energy and inner strength. You'll feel expansive and free as you find your way into this beautiful pose.
4. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
As simple as a forward fold may seem, the pose provides so many benefits for your body and mind. This bad boy helps relieve stress, lifts your spirits, and stretches the entirety of your lower body.
If your hamstrings are kind of tight because of the chilly weather, try keeping a slight bend in your knees and resting your upper body on your thighs. The simple modification will feel as juicy and restorative as ever.
5. Headstand (Sirsasana)
Inversions are a great way to find you inner strength, and literally turn your frown upside down when you're feeling blue. In fact, flipping your perspective in a headstand — both literally and figuratively — has been said to relieve symptoms of mild depression.
If you're just starting out, be sure to try this asana with the help of an instructor to keep you safe, or opt for a modified inversion like legs-up-the-wall pose.
6. Knees To Chest Pose (Apanasana)
Hugging your knees to your chest and transforming your body into a tiny little ball has the power to both restore contentment and relax your lower back muscles.
Try rocking back and forth or side to side on your spine for a soothing massage while you're in apanasana. Close your eyes, and stay with your breath as you feel a sense of calm envelop your body.
7. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
If a pose literally has "happy" in the name, it's bound to get the job done, right?
Seriously though, happy baby pose will make you feel like a carefree child again as it melts away any tension or stress lingering in your body. Again, feel free to include gentle rocks along your spine to add some subtle movement into the asana and keep your limbs warm and active.
8. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Settling into savasana always provides pure bliss and relaxation, no matter what kind of mood you're in.
In the chiller months of winter, putting a blanket over your body as you meditate in this pose will make it luxuriously comfortable and soothingly secure. Close your eyes, and let your body completely relax as you let go from head to toe. It never hurts to envision yourself on a sandy, tropical beach either — just sayin'.