When cold, brisk air is blowing outside, I crave practicing yoga in a heated room. Walking around barefoot in a tank top and feeling the warm arm on my skin is incredibly liberating. Practicing yoga in the Winter is a little different than in the summertime, so here are some things you should keep in mind until the thaw.
- Don't just head to class in your just your capris. Be sure to wear warm layers over your yoga outfit. A warm body is less prone to injury.
- If you live in a very cold climate, try to get to class at least 10 minutes early to sit in the hot room to allow your muscles to warm up before diving into Downward Dog. Do some Sun Salutations on your own to warm up faster.
- To avoid getting sick, ask the instructor not to assist you. They touch every other body in the room, so there's a good chance they can pass germs on to you.
- If you have a cold, stay home. I know you think a hot, sweaty yoga class is just the thing you need to kick your cold and unclog your stuffy nose, but be considerate of the other yogis in the class. This is a great time to test out your home practice or use your favorite yoga DVDs.
- Use your own yoga mat and never borrow studio or gym mats. It's hard to know when they were last washed or what kind of germs may be living them. Along the same lines, don't let anyone borrow your mat either.
- Make sure to bring a change of warm, dry clothes. You don't want to stay in your damp yoga outfit and step outside in the cold air. Cold weather doesn't make you sick, but it sure challenges your immune system.