ARCTIC YOGA

It’s December, winter season and end of lockdown! A perfect time to put some extra layers on, enjoy moving outdoors and meet up in groups again. I thought a great time to launch Arctic Yoga in Wimbledon!

Here is the plan: Let’s start this coming Sunday 6th December at 10am on the field by Wimbledon Windmill. The session will be 45 minutes long so that we are not challenging the cold too much! Please bring a mat, just in case. However, shoes, gloves and hats can be kept on. Yoga standing postures are great in winter time to keep circulation flow in the body and we will be out in space and nature, surrounded by trees and birds. Some of you might know the Scandinavian saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”. So I hope you will join me! Imagine how fresh and strong and well you will feel afterwards.

The Arctic Yoga idea is inspired by my trip to Antarctica last December. One night during the cruise I slept outside with my sister in a small tent in Paradise Bay. There is an irony in choosing to sleep outdoors in the cold instead of staying in a warm bed in a cabin – but it was one of my best experiences ever! December in Antarctica means summer. Still, being surrounded by snow, icebergs and penguins it was really cold. To feel ok with it I kept thinking that if an explorer can do this night after night on their way to the pole I should certainly be fine doing it for one.

We were provided with special sleeping bags and high performance tents but I doubt any of us slept more than 2-3 hours that night… Waking up with two hats on and lots of clothing my head felt like a big cube of ice and my body super stiff from the hard, cold surface I had been lying on. That’s when I turned to yoga.

It was amazing how quickly yoga movements helped warm up the body. My sister and I started by doing rotational movements with the spine to wake up the body. We then went on to move arms up and down, got into warrior two and tree pose. Suddenly we had forgotten all about the cold as it felt so fun to move and do yoga poses together at 6am in the amazing white, grey and blue landscape.

So – if you are tempted to practise yoga outdoors this winter and brave the colder temperatures we are experiencing now – know it will be okay and please come this Sunday! It worked for warmth and wellness after a cold night outdoors in Antarctica and surely it must do so here too ❄️

Hope to see you!

Annette X

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children and live in Wimbledon.