As the weather becomes colder, it is important to remember to stretch. When it is cold outside, muscles in the body tend to tighten up, due to a lowering in body temperature, making them more susceptible to injury. Yoga is a perfect way to stretch out those muscles keeping them safe and pliable.
Before practicing any yoga postures, I recommend starting with an activity to get the blood flowing to your muscles, such as a light walk or jog. Sipping some warm tea or water will also aid in warming up the body prior to practicing. Once ready, begin with your favorite asana stretch sequence. I like to start with some seated stretches, such as Hand to Big Toe pose, to lengthen the hamstring muscles, which I notice are often first to get tight when I am in the cold.
I find it most beneficial to hold each stretch for about 3 minutes each. It takes at least one minute for your muscles to relax into a pose. Practice at least three different stretches in a sequence; however, if you only find the time to get one asana in, that is better than nothing. Just remember to stay warm and get that body moving so your muscles stay pliable and healthy.