Yoga and the seasons

We are all different. Some of us revel in the heat of the summer while others seek an air conditioned room. The crisp, chilly days of winter energise some people, while others pull the duvet over their heads and try and pretend it’s warm outside.

When practicing yoga, we should look at our unique physical and mental responses to the seasons, the time of day, the weather, a full moon and every other part of the universe which impacts on our lives.

Know your mind and body and it will tell you how to practice yoga according to each season and time of day.

Which Asanas When?

We all know that certain yoga asanas (postures) are calming and some fill us with energy. Back bends are energising and uplifting and therefore not conducive to pre-bed yoga. Forward bends, on the other hand, are calming and are eminently suitable to perform before sleeping.

  • Surya namaskara (sun salutation)

Heat creating and mind stimulating

  • Standing asanas

Makes us feel grounded

Builds stamina and strengths

  • Balancing asanas

Aids concentration

  • Twists

Detoxify

Relieves tension and stress in the back, head and neck

  • Inversions

Change the view of the world, reminding us that nothing is permanent

 

WINTER – A Time for Contemplation

Contemplators

Forward bends – calming and restorative

Pranayama – breathing exercises that draw energy into the body, mind and soul

Meditation

Swadhyaya – self study

Winter Haters

Back bends – invigorating and uplifting

Dynamic asanas – to improve blood circulation

Balances – warming and energising

SPRING – New Beginnings

Surya namaskara – sun salutation to celebrate the sun coming out of hibernation.

Introduce new poses during Spring to celebrate new beginnings.

Detoxify the body.

Shat kriyas – yogic cleansing technique for purifying the body.

Focus on inhalation – during asanas and pranayama focus on drawing in the new energy that spring brings.

SUMMER – Vibrant and Warm

The heat of the summer should be taken into account and your yoga practice should be modified accordingly.

Cooling sequences – calming forward bends

Seated asanas

Restorative supported back bends

Gentle inversions – viparita karma – half shoulder stand

Sarvangasana – shoulder stand

Chandras namaskara – moon salutation

Pranayama – including sithali (cooling breath)

 

AUTUMN – Winding Down

Back bends – energising asanas

Detox diet – to boost the immune system

Vigorous pranayama – strengthen the lungs

 

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY WHILE PRACTICING YOGA

Carefully listen to your body and mind when practicing yoga and you will begin to learn which poses you should perform and which time of the year and/or day suit you and your body best.

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