Health: Winter Yogaland

Child Pose: This pose works on your hips and your thights to naturally release stress, anxiety and fatigue. This pose relaxes your mind; the longer you hold the pose, the better the effect.
Winter is a time of deep stillness and inner reflection. Yet for the first months of the season, we often end up feeling anxious, sick or depressed. Some attribute these feelings to holiday stress, or to a lack of vitamin D. Others say it is a lack of motivation to stay active throughout the chillier months. Whatever the cause, Midwesterners naturally have less energy to burn during the winter.

Build up your energy reserves, increase lubrication of your creaky joints, ligaments and tendons, and reduce holiday anxiety and seasonal depression through a regular yoga practice.

To get started, experiment with a few different styles until you find what’s right for you.

All backbends have a heart opening effect. Notice your posture when you're down and tired. When you open your heart, you elevate your mood.
This cross legged position promotes a sense of ease, grounding and well-being.
Hot Yoga is extremely popular over the winter months. Our joints are stiffer because of the chilly outdoors, and these warm classes help you loosen up. Rooms range from 85-100 degrees.

Vinyasa Flow is a style in which you build heat through vigorous movements that link to your breath.

Power Yoga is a flow-based approach focusing on strength and flexibility. The stable and controlled postures produce a concentrated mind.

In the Iowa City area, we have a wide variety of yoga studios suited for all types of students. Here are a few that I would recommend:

Zenergi Hot Yoga

1705 South First Avenue, Iowa City

These instructors are some of the friendliest I’ve found in one location and the studio’s environment is non-competitive. Your first class is free and they have a weekly community class for just five bucks. The facilities are welcoming and convenient. With showers available and plenty of parking, it’ll be difficult to say no to another class at Zenergi this winter.

Zenergi offers Vinyasa, hot yoga, hot pilates and power classes. They have morning classes and evening classes at the affordable drop-in rate of $12 and $10 for students.

Downward Dog Yoga & Fitness

120 Second Street, Coralville

Downward Dog has everything you need to keep your body in shape and your mind relaxed this holiday season.

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Classes are offered in the early morning, throughout the day and into the dinner hour. They offer a variety of six-week sessions for beginners, seniors and specifically for runners. Personal trainers, an ongoing boot camp and massage therapy are all in one location.

WIth an introductory rate of $20 for two weeks of unlimited classes, you’ll find plenty to make every dollar worth it and every minute count. Be sure to check out a fun, costume-themed class!

Heartland Yoga

221 East College Street, Suite 213
Iowa City

Heartland Yoga has classes for all ages and experience levels. They offer the widest range of yoga styles including, but not limited to: Kundalini, Yin Yoga, Anusara, Kripalu and Tantra Yoga.

Four of their classes each week cater specifically to the community and are donation-based. This is an excellent way to keep the studio full despite today’s economic troubles. The large windows add to the meditative ambiance, especially if you glance up during a snowfall.

Heartland has plenty of workshops to suit all needs, a variety of punch cards for all budgets and a $10 rate for students. Try any class, any day.