The last days of summer are often the hottest. While we’ve all heard of or even tried “hot yoga”, yoga can also be a great way to beat the heat. Some experts recommend practicing at 70% instead of going “all out”, and simply letting the yoga work for you.
Alternatively, you can look for less strenuous poses when you practice during the hottest months. When you need to cool off and chill out, try these five yoga poses to mellow your body and mind:
This floor pose releases tension in the hips and brings movement into the spine and breath into the body, both of which help to calm the nervous system and relieve stress. For a bonus stretch and mind relaxation, exhale and lean forward and place elbows on the floor. Rest your forehead on your hands to quiet and focus the mind.
This pose stimulates the “rest and digest” functions of the body (the parasympathetic nervous system), bringing you into balance. For added relaxation, tune into your breathing by placing one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Inhale and exhale slowly as you let the heat (and stress) of the day fall away.
This pose encourages lymphatic fluid (filled with white blood cells which boost immunity) to flow towards the heart. This action encourages flushing toxins and boosting circulation.
This upright pose relieves stress in two often over-looked places – the face and jaw. Make your starting upright pose soft and fluid and then exhale and fold over your knees swinging your arms back and exhaling with a “ha!” (that’s the lion part).
This pose is a little different than traditional Savasana, which calls for lying flat on your back with your arms and legs resting as if you were floating. For Belly Savasana, you flip over and really reconnect with the earth and let go of tension from your head to your toes.
Moving through these five poses should take about 15-20 minutes and leave you feeling cool as a waterfall and light as a pigeon feather.
Do you have yoga poses or relaxation methods to cool and relax the body and mind? Share them with us!
Yoga pics courtesy of Whole Living
Author: Kristen Ciuba
Kristen is a Nutritionist at Diet-to-Go, based in Lorton, VA. She tries to “practice what she preaches” by fitting in healthy foods and cooking, challenging exercise, and quality time with family and friends every day!