January 2018

You’re not alone if you feel down or depressed during the winter
months. SAD (or Seasonal Affective Disorder) is now a recognized medical condition, not just a case of “feeling blue”.

Common symptoms of SAD include depression, anxiety, lethargy and weight gain and is believed to be caused by a lack of sunshine. This lack of light can cause a disruption to the body’s natural circadian rhythms, causing many people to struggle through the long winter months.

Light therapy is an important part of treatment for SAD but yoga is also being proven to be very effective in relieving symptoms, mainly because stress leads to depression and depression can cause SAD. Yoga can significantly lower stress levels, helping combat SAD.

The types of yoga poses that are most recommended to help with SAD are inversions, back bends, forward bends, pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation.

So keep up your yoga practice – even just 15 minutes a day can make a big difference in how you feel!

Do you have SAD? What have you found makes a difference? Have you tried yoga to improve your symptoms?


Downward Facing Dog (Using a Chair)


Stretches spine, back of legs, rib cage and more, relieves back tension, facilitates deeper breathing and more.


  • Step 1: Remove your shoes and socks if possible.  Stand behind your chair with your hands on the back of the chair, about shoulder width apart.  Take a few steps backward with both feet until your legs are perpendicular to the floor and your back is straight.  (Your back and legs will be at a 90 degree angle with other and you will be looking straight down at the floor.)  Let your head relax.
  • Step 2: Take a deep inhale, and as you exhale, press your hips and sitting bones back to the wall behind you. Pull your abdominal muscles in and feel your spine stretching and lengthening.  Breathe.
  • Step 3: Spread your fingers apart.  Relax your shoulders and let them roll out and away from your ears.
  • Step 4: Hold for 5 deep breaths if you can, then to release, walk your feet slowly forward and stand up straight.  Release your arms down to your sides and stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) for 3 breaths with your eyes closed.  Breathe slowly and deeply, and enjoy how you feel.