By: “AJ” Amy Jo Crowell, Publisher Dallas Yoga Magazine & Co-Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement & Festivals
It’s the time of year when it’s difficult to get out of bed, from under the warm covers and step into the winter coldness. Brrrrrr! It’s often hard getting motivated to go to class during the winter chill. On the bright side, it’s a great time for hot yoga classes and most of the time the yoga rooms are nice and warm. The coziness makes the effort of daring the freezing weather all worthwhile. There are a few suggestions to remember for wintertime yoga to help make you have the best possible experience.
- Get to class early and take the time to sit in the yoga room and warm up. Do some pre-class stretches so you are ready for class. A cold body means cold muscles and that means you are more prone to injury. Get your body temperature acclimated to the warm temperature so your muscles will flow, flex and stretch the way you desire, hence reducing the threat of injury.
- Winter weather means the flu season is at it’s height. If you are sick, then don’t go to yoga class. Be cognizant of the risk of spreading your cold or flu to others. You can always find a great YouTube yoga video to do at home.
- Lessen your risk of illness at yoga by asking the instructor not to touch you or adjust you during class. Ask for verbal instructions. It’s always wonderful when an instructor takes the time to adjust your pose, but during the winter with the flu bug spreading it may not be the best time.
- The avoidance of germs during the winter season is essential. Do not use the studio or gym mats they offer. If you don’t have one of your own, then buy one and only use it yourself. You never know if someone has been sick used the mat or when the last time it’s been cleaned.
- Clean your own mat! Very few people clean mats as often as we should, but we need to be more aware of the process during the winter to protect ourselves from illness. Here are some suggestions on how to clean your mat.
- If you want to give your mat a quick clean, then you can mix one-part water with three-parts mild soap. Fill a spray bottle and you are ready to clean. (Keep the spray bottle handy so you can use it often.) All you have to do is spray the mat and wipe it off gently with a clean towel or soft rag.
- If your mat really needs a heavy duty cleaning then it is suggested to clean it in the bathtub. Fill the tub with cold water and add a small amount of mild soap. Gently wash the mat with a clean towel or soft rag. Do not use a scrub brush. Make sure you have rinsed the mat thoroughly and then lay it out on top of a dry towel. Roll up the mat inside of the towel as if you were rolling your mat after class. The towel will assist in getting the excess water out of the mat. Of course, the mat will still be wet, so hang dry it.
- When it’s summer time, we run out of yoga class hot and sweaty into the outside heat. But during winter, it’s not ideal to leave class and walk out into the cold in sweaty clothes. Bring a change of clothes so you can be dry when entering the winter cold air.
AJ Crowell is the Publisher of Dallas Yoga Magazine and Co-Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement & Festivals. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more articles by her at www.dallasyogamagazine.com. You can find more about Cosmic Yogi events at www.cosmicyogimovement.com