Winter is here! For some, this is the best time of year. Spending time with family and friends, drinking hot cocoa on cold days while cuddling up with a good book and indulging in holiday treats is wonderful. However, fall has its downside, too. You tend to spend less time outdoors, the stress of preparing for the holidays starts building up, and the weather can leave you feeling a bit down.
It’s hard to stay active and upbeat with all the rain and mud, but fall is the perfect time to try a new energizing activity, especially yoga.
Why yoga, exactly?
Benefits of yoga in 2017
Although we’re on the last stretch of 2016, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to try something new. Yoga might be just what you need to improve your mental and physical health this fall.
- Increases flexibility – if you’ve been spending more time indoors, you might have noticed your body getting a little tense. Keeping your muscles moving and stretching them increases flexibility so you’re not stiff when you go out to ski this winter. Yoga will help keep you in shape and ready for even the most difficult backcountry trail.
- Improves balance – even if you aren’t going to do a Down Dog on your snowboard, you know navigating Squamish’s snowy peaks requires stability. Improve your balance even when you aren’t on your board by trying out a challenging pose on the mat first.
- Builds muscle strength – you don’t have to lift heavy weights to improve muscle tone. Sometimes using your own body is enough to strengthen up. Yoga works every muscle in your body as you move in and out of positions.
- Reduces stress – yoga won’t just help keep your body in shape, it will also improve your mental health by managing all the holiday stress. Yoga is connected to breathing and often incorporates brief meditation. By focusing on deep breathing and your movement, you direct your focus away from your thoughts and induce calm.
- Helps you sleep better – since you’re less stressed, you may also sleep better. Studies show yoga can reduce insomnia and other sleep problems, while most people who practice yoga say they sleep better in general.
- Encourages mindfulness – by focusing on your breathing and movement, yoga also draws you into the present moment. That way you’ll be able to focus on one task at a time without worrying or mind wandering. It’ll come in handy when you’re trying to balance winter sports and holiday planning in December.
All of these things have some pretty obvious benefits for this time of year when most people are especially prone to stress and a little more lethargic. Yoga doesn’t just have to be your cold weather go-to, though. You might find it’s addictive and something that’s easy to incorporate into your daily life.
Where to practice yoga in Squamish?
With so many benefits, it’s no surprise the Squamish yoga scene is booming. There are lots of established and great studios to choose from as well as a few more opening up soon!
There are many types of yoga to choose from, and North Yoga specializes in several. Their Bikram yoga class is a classic. It’s adaptable to all levels and a great class for cold weather. The heated room gets the blood flowing to ease stiff muscles and help you sink into stretches. For a little more focus on breathing, a Vinyasa class connects movements to breath so the positions flow together for a truly meditative experience.
Oxygen Yoga & Fitness
Oxygen Yoga & Fitness is also toasty warm, and not just because of their infrared heating. Many classes heat up from the intense workout Oxygen creates. Power Flow classes target muscles to build strength and there’s even a class that works out your most problem areas. But, if you want to take it down a notch, the Hot Candlelight yoga helps you unwind with a slow sequence before bed.
One Tree Wellness
If you’ve already tried yoga and are looking for something that combines healthy living with yoga practice, One Tree Wellness is the place to go. Their 1-day mini-retreats focus on yoga, meditation, breathing, mindful eating, and much more. It’s a holistic experience that teaches you how to live the principles underlying yoga.
Moksha Now Open!
Hot yoga is Moksha’s specialty, but sometimes with a twist. Along with the traditional flow sequences, they offer a class with live music, and reduced-fee classes that help support non-profits or give new teachers a chance to practice. It’s a unique experience that can also help you give back.
The only studio in Squamish to offer Pilates, Yoga and Aerial. Core Intentions is a fully equipped studio Harmonizing the wisdom of your body through the ancient spiritual science of stillness and asana.
Core Intentions Yogi’s train in a variety of broad disciplines to maximize your daily practice and focus your inner and outer self. Whether you are embracing your fire with an exhilarating Vinyasa, finding your center while exploring your limits in Yin or balancing your day with Hatha, Core Intentions has the right class for you.
Although there are many different kinds of yoga and studios in Squamish, it doesn’t matter which you choose. Each one helps build the mental and physical benefits that will get you through the fall freeze, and even give you something to apply to your daily life. Yoga is for everyone, no matter your age or flexibility level.