Cold Weather & Muscular Tension

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Well, winter has arrived early in our part of the world. I normally say that November 15th is my snow sanity date – what I mean by that is I strongly prefer the snow to not be on the ground for good before November 15th. This year we had our first major snowfall several days before Halloween. And I notice that when the snow arrives, I tend to have more muscular tension in my body as a result of trying to cope with the cold.  This is usually done unconsciously for a couple of reasons. First, when your muscles contract, they burn energy which is released as heat. So when we tense up this is a natural bodily response to cold. Shivering occurs when muscles rapidly contract and relax to release energy (heat) fast. Often we drop our head and raise our shoulders, which causes the hips to tuck under and the lower back to flatten out. Of course, dressing appropriately certainly helps but taking extra time to release tension caused by poor postural holding will be extremely helpful.

One of my favourite yoga teachers is Jill Miller the founder of Yoga Tune Up. She has lots of fabulous offerings – but some of my favourites are the Quickfixes that only take a couple of minutes. Here is a link to a sample of the Shoulders Video. These exercises are SO effective and extremely reasonable ($1.95 per video). Take a moment to check them out – you won’t be disappointed!

BTW – this amazing picture was taken by Wilson A. Bentley who was the first person to capture the imageof a single snowflake with a camera in the year 1885!! The technology became known as photomicrography in 1931. Bentley’s groundbreaking book “Snow Crystals” recorded the beautiful designs and fragility of 2,500 snowflakes.

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