At this time of year the heat can seem unbearable at times. Keeping cool becomes a priority throughout the long days and sometimes breezeless nights. If your yoga mat is collecting more dust than you’d like because the thought of working up a sweat is the furthest thing from your want-to-do list, rest assured that there are ways to keep cool and still practice yoga.
If your schedule permits, early morning or evening classes are a nice time to practice due to the cooler temperatures at these hours, especially if you are sensitive to heat and you have a more vigorous practice. Another great way to keep cool during a very physical practice is to take a cool shower before and after class.
Importantly, no matter what class you attend, you can always tone your practice down to keep cool. Take child’s pose instead of downward facing dog, for example. Move more slowly into and out of poses—even if you are not keeping pace with everyone else. Find a deep and even breath to help keep cool by staying at ease.
Restorative yoga is a wonderful practice that can keep your summer yoga temperature friendly by offering well-supported asanas that are meant to bring about a relaxing state while your body takes deep, slow-moving stretches. It’s a great way to slow down along with the season. Sitali breath, or cooling breath, can also be practiced regularly to help cool the body and nervous system. Learn how to practice Sitali Pranayama here.
Dietary habits also play a crucial role in regulating body temperature. During the summer months, fresh fruits and vegetables that require little to no heating are best eaten on a regular basis. Heavy meals take more energy for the body to digest, heating the body in the process. Opt for fresh salads, lean proteins, and healthy fats to optimize your temperature and your health.
Summer months are a time of fun and lightness. Find lightness in your yoga practice to reflect this energy so that you still find the motivation to come to your mat regularly.