Winter Blues? Beat Them With 5 Simple Yoga Moves (You Can Even Do In Bed!)

Don't know where to start in battling your Seasonal Depression? Start simply — at home.

Winter Blues? Beat Them With These Simple Yoga Tips- in BED! getty 

You may have heard of seasonal affective disorder, which aptly is called SAD. When the days are shorter, we get less light and our moods can get darker too.

Animals who hibernate may have a good idea. However, we still have to get up, go to work, raise our families, and be a good friend and neighbor no matter what time of year it is.

Winter blues can also make us feel less active, our joints and muscles may not want to stretch and move as much as the days we walk on the beach or get on the tennis court in summer. Even if you do not have SAD, you may feel sad with cold weather, colds, and the flu in the air.


Moving is a way to lift the blues, keeping the immune system stronger as a bonus. Little moves can go a long way in making us feel better.

No time to get to the yoga studio? Feel like you can hardly get out of bed?


Fight off the winter blues with yoga at home. Try some of these yoga moves, even from the comfort of your bed before you set foot on the floor:

1. When you are just waking up, lay flat on your back in bed.

Reach your arms up over behind you (elbows bent if you bump into the wall). Take a big inhale through the nose. Hold that breath and stretch from your fingers to your toes.

As you breathe out through the nose, hug the knees into the chest. Feel your lower back stretching. To add a little thyroid stimulation, tuck your nose in toward your knees.

A sluggish metabolism can mean your thyroid needs a little pressure on it to get it stimulated. The thyroid gland is in your neck and regulates your metabolism, which is a factor in feeling good!


2. Relax one of your legs straight out and keep the other knee hugged in your chest.

Take a nice big inhale through your nose (that helps you breathe deeper, which in turn means you are getting more energy into your system). As you exhale use the opposite hand to bring that knee over across your body.

This will realign your energy, loosen the spine for more flexibility and energy flow and even relieve some of those little knots of life’s stuff in your back. If you wake up feeling anxious, let that exhale be through the mouth, even with a big sigh to let some of that excess tension out of your mind and body.


Bring the bent knee back to center, breathing in, then do the same thing on the other side.

3. Sit up in bed and sit cross-legged or on your heels.

If you are feeling really tight, just open your legs out in front of you and hold on inside your thighs. Start to move the spine forward and back, arching it, not rocking back and forth. Once again use the breath as that is what will wake you up and lift your winter blues.

Breathe in and you move the spine forward, out as you move it back, arching it like a bow. Your spine will start to warm up.

When we are depressed, it is challenging to get the energy moving but when we do, we feel so much better!

RELATED: 6 Small-But-Powerful Changes To Help You Fight The Wintertime Blues


4. Raise your arms up in the air.

Start to shake the arms, the whole body if you like. Imagine getting rid of the thoughts and feelings that are not serving you in any way.

Breathe or even make sounds, a great way to release.

5. Move the breath.

If you cannot, do through this deeply through the nose at first do it through the mouth with the tongue way out, like a dog panting. Breathe quickly, making the inhale and exhale even. This is called breath of fire and will ignite your energy and burn away the toxins.


I know a yoga student who swore by this one technique to lift his depression every morning. Just a few moments can do.

We tend to feel the lowest in the mornings so get up and throw some cold water on your face to make you feel alive. It's good for the complexion too!

Later in the day or even at night, make sure you do some standing stretches to keep the effect of these morning wake-up stretches in your body.


First, simply stand up and reach your arms high, breathing in, then fold forward like a rag doll, letting the tension roll off your back and out the top of the head. Feel the legs and your back stretch — these are places we often hold the stresses of life.

A good twist always feels good so let your arms hang loose and just twist your body side to side. Always remembering the breath is the yoga way to stay happy and balanced so breathe here too, inhaling left and exhaling to the right.

And smile! It's a great exercise for the face muscles and proven to make the mind happy too!

RELATED: The Psychological Purgatory Of Having Seasonal Affective Disorder


Donna Davidge has been teaching yoga/meditation for over thirty years in NYC and owns and operates Sewall House Yoga Retreat in Maine May to OCT since 1997.