When the temperature rises, there is nothing more than enjoying the outdoors, but sometimes the heat can seem a little too much and we search for ways to help cool down.
It can be hard to stay cool and comfortable during the summer months. In this post, you’ll find some techniques that you may find useful when it comes to your own yoga practice and breathwork that you can try from the comfort of your own home (or shady spot in your garden).
Read on to learn more about how to stay cool this summer with yoga!
Breath work for cooling down
Connecting to your breath is a great tool to have and by embracing these techniques, you’ll find some refreshing ways to cool down your body.
- Yogic breath, or pranayama - involves inhaling and exhaling through the nose, slowing down the breath and lengthening each inhale and exhale. Try to take the breath on the inhale, through the nose and inflate down into the belly and then exhale from the belly up through the lungs and out of the nose. Try counting the breath, an example is inhale for 4, hold for 1 and exhale for 6 and repeat.
- Sheetali breath involves curling the tongue and inhaling through the mouth, then exhaling through the nose. This creates a cooling sensation in the mouth and throat and can help bring down body temperature.
To further enhance the cooling effect of breath work, try practicing in a shaded or cool space, you can also place a cold cloth over your forehead or neck for added relief. Another great way to stay cool is by practicing yoga in the early morning or late evening, when temperatures are cooler.
Remember to always listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
Resting yoga poses to beat the heat
During the heat, it's essential to take breaks from active yoga poses to cool down and rest, while also making sure you stay hydrated. Below are some resting poses to help you beat the heat and stay refreshed.
- Relax: Simply lying down on your back with arms and legs spread wide can help you cool off and relax. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, letting go of any tension or stress.
- Savasana: Also known as the Corpse pose, savasana is a classic relaxation pose that helps you calm down and cool off. Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your palms facing up. Relax your whole body and focus on your breath.
- Child's pose: This gentle forward bend is great for relieving tension in the back and neck. Start on your hands and knees, bring your big toes to touch and take your knees wide (to the width of your mat or as far as feels comfortable), fold forward till you rest your forehead on the ground (or on a prop). Reach your arms forward or let them relax by your sides.
- Restorative yoga: Restorative yoga involves holding gentle poses for extended periods, with the support of props like blankets, blocks, and bolsters. It's a great way to relax deeply and release tension in the body, helping you stay cool and calm even in the hottest weather.
Cooling meditation techniques for a calm mind and body
When it's hot outside, our bodies and minds can feel restless and agitated. This is where meditation comes in handy, helping us find our inner peace and tranquility. Here are some cooling meditation techniques that will help you cool down and stay calm during the heat:
- Sit comfortably: Find a comfortable seated position, either on a cushion or a chair. Make sure your spine is straight and your shoulders are relaxed.
- Breath awareness: Start by bringing your attention to your breath. Focus on the cool sensation as you inhale and the warmth as you exhale. Try to elongate your exhale and feel the relaxation wash over you.
- Body scan: Next, scan your body from head to toe, noticing any areas of tension or discomfort. Bring your awareness to those areas and visualize the cool breeze flowing over them, relaxing and calming them.
- Mantra repetition: If you find that your mind is still racing, try repeating a mantra or affirmation. Choose a phrase that resonates with you, like "cool and calm" or "peaceful and relaxed" and repeat it silently to yourself as you meditate.
- Visualisations: Finally, use the power of your imagination to transport yourself to a cool and refreshing place. Imagine yourself standing by a waterfall, or lying on a beach with a gentle breeze blowing over you.
Take us with you on holiday
Don’t want to miss your New Energy yoga practice while you’re away on your summer break? Then you can take us away with you.
Our ‘On Demand’ platform is available and you’ll find a great selection of videos in the ‘Unwind’ category to keep up with your practice while you’re away and enjoying your holiday.
With these cooling techniques, you'll find that the heat doesn't have to get in the way of your yoga practice and you’ll be able to enjoy the cool and calm you cultivate within yourself for the summer months.
Published on Friday 16th June 2023 at 13:00