Courtesy // Eneko Urunuela

Benefits of Yoga in Winter

By Meaghan Archer

It’s no secret that yoga has tons of benefits—both physically and mentally. It’s one aspect of the practice that studio owner and teacher Salli Siewart says really boosts people’s well-being during the long, cold winter months.

Her Medicine Hat-based studio, Yoga You4ia, has started to see an upward trend of locals coming through the doors to start their practice again after taking time to readjust to post-pandemic life.

Salli recognizes it’s been hard for many people to get back to where they were after the challenges of the last few years, but that yoga does have a mindful aspect to it that helps you find balance—and just as importantly, community.

“Once you have a regular practice, you start to connect to people (at the studio),” she says. “There’s a connective energy of being in a room together with people who have a unified purpose that is really powerful.”

She added, sharing breath, hearing other people and seeing their faces and becoming familiar with them lends to a strong sense of community—both in and out of the studio. Yoga You4ia started hosting virtual classes during the pandemic and have continued to stream every class offered, making it easy for people from all over to practice together.

One benefit to the studio is that the space is heated with infrared light—an extra incentive during the winter months. But for those who don’t live in Medicine Hat or prefer to take classes at home, a space heater or warm sweater will do the trick, says Salli, who had friends from across the world, including Italy, join in on classes over the past few years thanks to the virtual option.

It’s just one way that the studio has expanded over the past 11 years since Salli opened the doors. The studio now also offers stand up paddleboard (SUP) classes, as well a range of yoga classes, from power flows to deep stretching. Also offered is yoga nidra, a natural sleep aid designed to help the body and mind unwind and relax. No matter what you need, whether it’s a full-on sweat sesh or space to just breathe, there is a yoga practice available for you.

AMA Members save 10 per cent on punch cards and 10 per cent on unlimited monthly and annual passes at YogaYou4ia.