Yoga Tips on Staying Cool

July 7th, 2010

With the Mind:
Yoga always begins with the Yama and Niyama, the practices we do before even stepping on a mat or discovering a three part breath. Practice Aparigraha (non-attachment) and Ishwar Pranidham (surrender). We can not change the weather but we can change our minds. Accept that all is temporary and constantly transforming. As certainly as this wave of heat and intensity has rolled in it will certainly depart. Accepting that weather and nature are forces greater than ourselves can dissolve the frustration we may feel about our temporary personal discomfort.

With the Breath
Practice sitali pranayama, cooling breath. Here is a short video tutorial from Yogi Jim. Please note: if you have low blood pressure this pranayama should be avoided. If you experience nausea or dizziness, stop the practice and rest in savasana.

With the Body
Accept the invitation from nature to sloooow down, to tap into cooler Yin Yoga postures or restorative postures. Supported postures with longer holds will nurture the large joints and connective tissue. The large muscles are already warm and open when the mercury is high, over stretching in fiery Yang style practices can lead to over stretching and injury. Take it slow, let the Yoga “do you” and watch as the lotus of your being gently unfolds. Here is a great site on Yin Yoga.

Diet and Ayurveda
Summer is the time of fire and water and it is best to balance the external elements with what elements you internalize through diet.
Foods to keep you cool in the heat: watermelon, cucumber, mint, coconut, summer squash, fennel, cilantro, lettuces, berries.
Foods to avoid: spicy, acidic and greasy foods
For more on Ayurvedic diet read here.

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