Published: 05/19/2016 - Updated: 08/28/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Hello everyone! Sometimes Summer heat can become too much to handle, especially when a powerful heatwave arrives. Today I want to offer some advice on surviving these particularly high temperatures, as it is not only by keeping the air conditioning that we can combat overheating, but also by practising yoga too.
Pranayamas to beat the heat
When the heat becomes unbearable and you no longer know what to do to combat it, please try the following yoga pranayama: It will help to freshen you up, both physically and mentally.
Sheetali is a technique used to help cool down the body and quench the thirst. To practice it, simply sit back, stick out your tongue and fold it like a spoon. Inhale through your mouth, hold your breath and slowly exhale through the nose. You can repeat this pranayama five to ten times.
For those who can not bend their tongue, you can practice Sheetkari: With your mouth open, clench and press your tongue against your teeth. Inhale. Close your mouth and breathe through your nose normally again and repeat.
Yoga Asanas to beat insomnia
One of the popular discomforts associated with the Summer heat is insomnia, because many people fail to sleep during the hottest days of the year. The reason behind this is that from 26 degrees centigrade and upwards, your sleep quality begins to decrease. This is due to the fact that the generation of melatonin (the hormone responsible for making us feel tired) is related to body temperature, and so a higher temperature equals less melatonin and vice versa.
In addition to the breathing exercises described above, to help you lower your temperature, you can perform the following yoga asanas to promote relaxation. A stressed mind can add more weight to the body (it is already heavy enough during this period). Try to do these exercises before going to bed or in the late afternoon.
Savasana: According to practitioners, this approach promotes yogic sleep, which precedes actual sleep. Although at first glance it does not seem like a “proper” yoga pose, it definitely is! Lie on your back with your feet straight and hands by your sides and relax (for this pay attention to your breathing).
Viparita Karani, or legs on the wall: This simple yoga pose, conducted with the help of a wall, is excellent for relaxing or winding down at night. It can also help the heart by pumping more blood to it, as the heart uses more energy for pumping blood when the temperature is high. By placing your legs up the wall, blood will run up your legs and back to the heart without any great effort. An alternative to this asana is to stack some pillows and rest your feet on them.
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As always, try to perform these pranayama and asana exercises with your yoga instructor before doing them at home.
I hope this article has been helpful. If you know any more tricks to beat the heat, do not hesitate to share them in the comments section! Have a great weekend.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 08/28/2018
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