5 Cooling Yoga Poses to Withstand the Summer Heat
When the weather warms up and everyone begins to spend time outside, it may be hard to motivate yourself to keep up with your yoga practice. If you find yourself overheating this summer even when sitting on the couch, consider getting up and trying these cooling yoga moves to lower internal body temperature instead.
To learn more about our 5 favorite cooling yoga poses to withstand this year’s grueling summer heat, continue reading below.
1. Sun Salutations & Chaturanga Dandasana
Although sun salutations and multiple chaturanga might give you visions of sweat and heat exhaustion in a humid hot yoga studio, they are actually a great way to keep cool when practicing in the heat. Sun breath will help you counteract the physical heat created by cooling your mind and minimizing lung exertion.
To enact this sequence with breath, follow these steps:
Step 1: Tadasana mountain pose, breathe in with palms touching.
Step 2: Exhale palms through the heart center and forward fold.
Step 3: Inhale halfway lift.
Step 4: Exhale fold.
Step 5: Repeat.
While these steps might feel familiar, the reason they are done in time with breath, especially in hot yoga classrooms, is because of their warm-up effect on the muscles and the cooling effect of the brain.
2. Sitali Breath (Straw Breath)
The second cooling yoga pose on our list is Sitali breath. This pranayama directly translates to the word “cooling” from Sanskrit and makes you feel much cooler almost immediately by pulling cold air into the mouth and releasing the hot air that isn’t needed on very warm days.
To enact this cooling breath, follow these steps:
Step 1: Sit cross-legged or in a lotus pose with a flat spine and level chin.
Step 2: Stick your tongue out and create a tube or roll that air can flow through.
Step 3: Inhale through the tongue to the count of three.
Step 4: Hold your breath for one count.
Step 5: Bring your tongue back into your mouth and close it.
Step 6: Exhale through the nose for three counts.
Step 7: Repeat 50 times max, or for at least ten rounds.
This breathing exercise is perfect for anyone feeling lazy due to excessive heat and wanting a way to cool down. Share it with your family, regardless of their experience with yoga or lack thereof. It can be performed with eyes open or closed.
3. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)
Forward folds are one of the best ways to both release any tension caused by excess heat and release heat from the body. Doing Baddha Konasana, otherwise commonly known by yogis and athletes as butterfly pose, can help turn your thoughts into your mind and get you feeling cool.
To do Baddha Konasana for cooling purposes, take the following steps:
Step 1: Sit up tall with the balls of your feet together and your knees bent.
Step 2: Hold on to your feet or place your hands on the floor in front of your feet.
Step 3: Fold forward and put your forehead on or in front of your feet.
Step 4: Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth 15 times.
Step 5: Repeat if you’d like.
4. Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
The fourth cooling pose on our list that will help you beat the summer heat is Vrksasana, also commonly known as tree pose. Tree pose is great for the heat because it emphasizes grounding into the cool earth, patience, and strength.
To do Vrksasana pose, follow these steps:
Step 1: Stand in Samasthiti with your feet together.
Step 2: Lift your heel and grab it with your corresponding hand.
Step 3: Gently place the ball of your foot on your opposite leg’s inner thigh as high as possible to your pubic bone.
Step 4: Bring your hands to the heart center.
Step 5: Option to grow your tree with arms up and outstretched with peace mudra fingers.
Step 6: Remain here for 5 breaths.
Step 7: Slowly come out of the pose and return to neutral.
Step 8: Repeat with the other foot on the other side the same way.
5. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Savasana, or corpse pose, is the ultimate cooling yoga pose for any time of the day in any weather. Everyone’s favorite ‘lazy yogi’ pose, savasana will cool you right now especially if you are feeling overworked and need a minute to recharge and revitalize your spirit.
To have a great and cooling savasana, consider doing the following:
Step 1: Option to practice a few of the cooling poses listed above.
Step 2: Darken your room and shut any windows or doors letting in warm air.
Step 3: Spritz some cooling peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus oil into the air around you.
Step 4: Option to put a cool wet washcloth over your eyes and forehead.
Step 5: Lay on your back with your arms to your sides not touching your body and your legs about hip-width apart letting your feet flop open.
Step 6: Be still and relax completely, feeling yourself sink heavily onto the floor, rug, or mat.
Step 7: Remain for around 10 to 20 minutes, or for as long as you feel necessary. Release any thoughts that may come and remember that you are in no hurry.
Step 8: Option to slowly repeat the mantra “I am feeling cooler” if any stray thoughts arise.
Practice and Keep Learning
Yoga is all about learning, and every time we practice we are learning more about ourselves and how to increase our overall well being with cooling, heating, and releasing techniques depending on our personal fluctuating needs.
To learn more about nutrition and yogic techniques, or to browse our directory of inspiring instructors, studios, and classes, visit ZentasticFit.com and subscribe to our newsletter!
By Shasta Fay