Yoga to Beat The Heat
Yoga is a useful tool and exercise for many different things. We can manipulate our yoga practice to bring about different results; or aid in many ways. Certain yoga postures can aid in digestion, different breathing exercises can aid in focus or stress relief, and types of yoga flows can warm us up or cool us down. I love doing an active vinyasa flow of sun salutations for instance before a run, or a restorative yoga practice before bed. Yoga can be dynamic and heating or relaxing and cooling.
Now that summer is upon us and warmer temperatures, you might want to consider a slow flow yoga class or some yoga practices that help cool off the body. Yoga can reduce your body temperature in a natural manner. One of my favorite cooling breaths, sitali, involves inhaling through the nose and exhaling out a curled tongue.
Some of my favorite cooling postures are listed below:
Reclined Goddess Pose
Goddess pose allows your body to feel heavy and relaxed. You can also elevate the upper body on a block tower or bolster to keep your head about your heart. As you rest and breathe in this pose you feel your heart rate slow down and your body start to cool off.
Goddess pose is a great way to start and end a yoga flow. I also love the elevated version for expecting moms.
Mountain pose is a simple, easy yoga pose that can be done anywhere and any time to help cool your body down.
This pose is unique in that it cools the body down by slowing down the mind. This technique helps slow breathing down in order for the body to become cooler. This pose also aids mindfulness, promotes calm, increases awareness of the body, and encourages better body alignment and posture. You can even practice your sitali breathing in this pose.
Ensuring your hips are square in pigeon allows your hips and chest to open up. Breathing deeply throughout this pose allows your body to reset and cool down.
This pose is great for after a run, or other high-intensity cardio activities to help cool you down from the inside out.
Bridge pose is great for opening up your chest, hips and shoulders allowing blood to circulate throughout your body. The pose allows your chest to open further, your lungs to take in more air and thus the breath to slow down.
During this pose be sure to keep your feet parallel throughout the pose and keep your breath slow and calm.
This pose is the perfect cool down to end a yoga flow. Be sure to sit up straight with a long spine as you draw your feet into your body without straining.
Taking several deep breaths during this pose will help calm the mind and body and cool you down.
Also, make sure to drink plenty of water and listen to your body. Cooling yoga practice may be less trendy than a heated one; but I sure love the numerous ways yoga can help me feel good all year long. Check out my PELOTON slow flow yoga classes and get the app FREE for 30 days!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!