Summer is winding down, but we still have some hot, humid days to deal with before the crisp fall weather arrives. Yoga can help cool the body to better deal with high heat and humidity during the summer.
There is a specific yoga breathing exercise called Sitali breath. Find a comfortable seat and breathe in through your nose then out through your mouth (with your tongue curled). To see it performed you can watch this link:
There are lots of restorative postures that can cool the body down: child's pose, pigeon pose, and prone restorative twist on a bolster. Anything where the forehead touches the earth is soothing and cooling.
Too many sun salutations (surya namaskar) should be avoided when one needs to cool down; they are rajastic in nature and build heat and energy. Moon salutations are better. You can still do a light flow, but they won't raise the body temperature as much. Crescent lunges and shoulderstands are also good for cooling, but headstands, handstands and wheel poses can generate a lot of heat.
If you feel overheated during a yoga class, take it easy and rest your forehead on the floor. Grab a glass of water and make sure you are plenty hydrated if you are a Bikram yoga practitioner. I recommend doing more Yin style yoga practices when the heat is on.
Namaste and happy rest of your summer!
For more by Kristin McGee, click here.
For more on yoga, click here.