Summer – Cooling With Yoga – Cooling With Yoga Posses To Beat The Heat – Best yoga posses
Best Ways To Stay Cool In Hot Weather
As the seasons shift, our bodies cycle through an organic ebb and flow of change that serves to harmonise and create balance within us. These changes are usually influenced by the seasons themselves:
- hours of daylight
- foods that are abundant at particular times of the year
- weather patterns and seasonally inspired activities.
Summer is the pitta season (composed of the fire and water elements), which means itʼs time to get outside, grow food, play, relax and enjoy the outdoors, recharging your internal batteries with solar energy. One of the classic ayurvedic sutras says, “Like increases like.” As you witness the fire and water elements increasing in the natural world during June through August, pay attention to the ways they increase in your own body and mind as well.
Although your body will adjust to these changes naturally, it never hurts to integrate some simple tweaks into your routine to aid in the transition and link yourself more intimately with the season that is upon you. Summer time means different things for different people –
- Time to holiday
- Hit the beach
However you view summer, one thing is constant: it’s hot. Really, really warm and muggy. And isnʼt each year seemingly getting warmer?
An ayurvedic approach to inner body balance
The summer months are a time of light and warmth, and the energy of summer radiates at a high vibration. To balance the heat and energy of the summer season, aim to cultivate the opposite environment on the inside of the body — cool and calm.
According to ayurveda, the science of health native to India, summer inspires the pitta dosha. The doshas are the bodily humours that help to create oneʼs individual constitution.
There are three different doshas
Pitta is driven predominantly by the solar force. So when the natural cycle of the seasons brings us to the sunny summer months, it is important to pacify the natural pitta inside our bodies so that we arenʼt meeting the hot, fiery external climate with a similar internal energy. In doing so, we allow ourselves to enjoy the full excitement and thrill that summer brings, without being flooded by too much of one energetic force. But how do we balance that pitta energy? During this time of the year, a good counter for the sunny weather would be to create a lunar current within the body by focusing on activities and foods that are cooling. This approach will nourish your system and help increase your energy levels.
5 yoga tips to cool off this summer
From a Yoga practitionerʼs point of view, it’s part of change. One season flows into another – each one brings its set of changes. A Yogi will simply look at the changes and act: do some best practices to ensure the body and mind stay fit.
Cool Yoga Poses For Summer
- Sheetali Pranayama
- Sheetkari Pranayama
- Chandra bhedi Pranayama
- Savasana (Corpse Pose)
- Ardhakati Chakrasana
Here are five yoga tips. You could choose a favourite Yoga tip and practise it regularly or even do all.
Sheetali Pranayama – The secret is in your breath
The next time youʼre waiting for a bus or have a few minutes before you rush out for the day, try the Sheetali Pranayama.
- Stick your tongue out and curl the sides of the tongue upward towards the centre of the tongue.
- Breathe in through the mouth, hold the breath and slowly exhale through the nose.
- Repeat five to 10 times. Youʼll find your body temperature cooling down.
- Drink up more fluid during Sheetali Pranayama
Sheetkari Pranayama – Cool Yoga Poses For Summer
The more you hydrate yourself, the better. With 70 per cent of water in your body, youʼd better ensure thereʼs lot of liquid out there. Besides drinking gallons of fluids, you could include the Sheetkari Pranayama in your routine. Here’s how:
- Close the right nostril with your right thumb.
- Exhale completely through the left nostril and then breathe in through the left nostril.
- Close the left nostril with your little ring finger and exhale through the right.
- Repeat five to 10 times.
Benefits Of Sheetkari Pranayama
- Lots of people find that Sheetkari helps to quench thirst.
- So, if youʼre stranded without water somewhere, you know what to do. Even if you have all the fluids, do the Sheetkari Pranayama
- It also helps to cool the body.
Caution For Sheetkari Pranayama
Sheetkari is not a substitute for water or fluids. Drink up, for sure.
Chandra bhedi Pranayama – Calm the nerves
When the temperature is hot outside, itʼs likely that we lose our tempers, get impatient and tired. To overcome these problems you should try Chandra bhedi Pranayama. This breathing technique has a cooling effect on the nervous system and on the nadis (subtle channels of energy).
- With mouth open, clench your teeth and press the tongue against the teeth. Breathe in.
- Close your mouth and breathe out normally through the nostrils.
- Repeat five to 10 times: inhaling from the left and exhaling from the right.
- After the pranayama, lie down in shavasan (corpse pose). Itʼll relax and refresh you.
How To do Savasana (Corpse Pose)
After a long day, do you want to unwind in the evening? Lie down in Savasana near a wall – with your feet touching the wall. Raise your legs and rest your feet on the wall. After holding the posture for a minute or two, bring the legs down and rest in Savasana. Youʼll find this Yoga pose refreshing and restorative. How does this work? Since the heart is pumping out more blood when the temperature is high, this Yoga pose helps the heart by returning more blood back to the heart. (Here we use gravity to bring the blood back to the heart.)
Caution For Savasana (Corpse Pose)
- Those with high blood pressure and back problems should avoid this yoga posture.
- An easier alternative to this yoga pose is to pile up some pillows and rest your feet on them.
- Although your body will instinctively crave a balance as the seasons shift,
- it is always a beneficial practice to offer a little assistance.
Here are other yoga asanas that you can practice in summer:
List Of Asanas
- ardhakati chakrasana
- yoga nidra
- shavasan Yoga
Best time For Yoga and Meditation In Summer
- poses practised gently and meditatively balance the mind and body and are beneficial at any time of the year.
- Shavasana and meditation are specially good in summer.
- Any physical activity increases body temperature. That is why itʼs best to avoid excessive or strenuous asanas when it is extremely hot.
- Early in the morning or late in the evening are the best times to practise Yoga postures during summer.
- ʻPittaʼ type people should avoid fast-paced yoga poses. If the temperature is very high, avoid brisk breathing techniques like kapal bhati and agnisara.
- Cooling foods, herbs and spices food is another essential component to balance the body, as it metabolises your efforts from the inside, out.
Few Simple Guidelines To Follow That Will Allign Your Eating With The Summer Season – Healthy Foods To Eat In Summer Season
- Eat vegetables and fruits that have a high water content like melons, cucumbers, and leafy greens is the best summer foods to eat.
- Keep things light and cool — enjoy foods that arenʼt dense/heavy and that you donʼt need to cook for very long, perhaps even things you donʼt have to heat up at all before eating.
- Itʼs easier to get dehydrated during the summer months. Try drinking electrolyte-enhanced water. If you ever feel like you are overheating, coconut water is very cooling to the body. (Just be mindful of how much you drink as it is a natural laxative)
- Incorporate herbs and spices that reduce the pitta dosha, including mint, fennel, cilantro, cumin and coriander.
- Eat, drink and be happy:
- Reduce intake of spicy food, tea, coffee and sugar.
- Avoid fatty foods because they put an extra burden on the digestive system and heart.
- Consume larger quantities of fruits, vegetables and yoghurt – though, not together.
- Minimise consumption of nonvegetarian food.
- Increase your intake of lime water with a pinch of salt. Remember, a squeeze of lime can be cooling, but too much of it can aggravate pitta.
- Swear by Savasana Yoga
Trust your instincts on these recommendations and always do what feels right for you. Happy summer