Boost your mood & energy with these Kapha-stimulating winter yoga practice tips…
Winter can be seen as a season of rest after the busier, more frenetic seasons of summer and fall, but it’s not always easy to slow down and ground ourselves as we need to this time of year, which can sometimes rob us of some of the blessings it can bring. For example, this article points out that:
The stillness of winter calls us to rest, reflect, rejuvenate, and imagine. It is an opportunity to breathe fully and deeply, lean into the spaciousness of the atmosphere, and simply just be.
It may sound simple, but this can also be a challenge for those of us with busy and stressful lives!
On the other hand, winter can also leave us feeling lethargic, depressed, or unmotivated, so it is important to find ways to balance our energies during this unique season.
According to Ayurvedic tradition, the winter season is dominated by the Kapha dosha, which is reflected in the dormant energy of winter, featuring dark, cold, cloudy, and wet weather, and can lead to loneliness, stagnation, and a feeling of sadness – often known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Thankfully, yoga provides some helpful tools for balancing our energies with the weather outside, no matter what it may bring. Asana, pranayama, and meditation are powerful practices to help support us throughout our winter moods and provide relief for the winter blues.
If Kapha energy is dominant for you during the winter months, here are a few yoga techniques that may help boost your mood and invigorate your energy. Try these when you’re feeling heavy, low, lethargic, or uninspired:
Go for a more energetic, uplifting, and dynamic yoga practice during these times. Choose workouts that create heat and intensity, but without fully maxing out your capacity.
Practice tips to consider:
- Take your time warming up
- Breathe through your nose
- Sun salutation: Move with intention at a pace that allows your breath to quicken
- Warrior Poses: I, II, Reverse Warrior
- Forward Folds: Seated or Standing
- Backbends: Cobra, Bow, Dancer
- Abdominal strengthening to stimulate digestion like Side Plank, Leg Lifts, or twisting abdominal variations
- Strength training – change up moves or try more complicated moves, shorter rest periods,
- Supported Savasana – place pillow or rolled blanket under torso (5-10 minutes)
Explore invigorating and balancing breathing techniques such as:
- Kapalabhati (Skull Shining Breath/Breath of Fire)
- Bhastrika (Bellows Breath)
- Surya Bhedana (Right Nostril Breathing)
These techniques help to create warmth in the body, boost energy, increase circulation, and support digestion.
- Take time for yourself to sit quietly in a safe space and envision spaciousness within and around you.
- Focus on the sights, smells, sounds, sensations, and energy in the room around you, and just allow them to be.
- Spend time contemplating what you would like to create in your life, and envisioning steps you can take to move you towards these goals and desires.
The winter season can feel slow, long, and lonely at times, but by nurturing our energy and inner needs and tending to these aspects of ourselves, we can bring enjoyment, peace, and balance to every season.
Find more winter yoga tips and techniques at Chopra.com…