As the seasons change and the weather shifts, checking in and ensuring your winter wellness routine is in good shape is always a good idea. If you are in the northern hemisphere, the days are shortening and the evenings feel even shorter. It is important to recognize the challenges your normal wellness routine may have in the winter months, so you can adapt and overcome.
If you are willing to try something new (or again), I would recommend yoga.
I enjoy a yoga practice year-round, but I admit it can be challenging during south Louisiana summers because of a yogic idea tapas, which means “to build heat/burn”. Tapas warms the body, and during the winter months is an added benefit. It seems every month there is a new study that validates yoga as a wellness method, but the Yogis have always known this. The most important aspect of yoga is the self-identification of the effect yoga has on you. If yoga doesn’t work for you, don’t do it.
Yoga has great benefits to all who practice it and is an excellent supplement to existing wellness routines. Yoga is also a great way to transition from inactivity to a new wellness routine. Yoga also has many different styles and I encourage you to try several classes and teachers before you give up on it. Yoga is an effective method to building wellness in the mind and body, but yoga is not magic. Yoga requires effort. Pattabhi Jois, one of the founders of Vinyasa Yoga said, “yoga is 99% effort and 1% theory”.
Yoga exists in most corners of the US and around the world. Look for classes in yoga studios, community centers, fitness clubs, and through organizations to promote wellness like Bastion Community. Bastion, 1901 Mirabeau Avenue in New Orleans, has yoga every Thursday at 6:30pm. When the days are longer, there is an outdoor vinyasa (movement linked with breath) yoga class with Marion, and year-round, there is an indoor chair yoga class that is accessible to anyone with Jason. The classes are free and geared towards veterans, but yoga is for everyone, and everyone is welcome.
Jason Davey is a Kansas native, Marine Corps Combat Veteran, and community yoga teacher. He is also the founder of NolaSeva.org, a nonprofit org dedicated to bringing wellness to the community through yoga. Jason and Nola Seva believe that yoga is for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.