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Yoga: Embrace the chill drill for summer

Beat the heat

Practising yoga during summer can be a challenge. When our body temperature rises, our heart beats faster and our nervous system works harder. We may feel irritable or emotionally drained. Physical activity increases our body heat, so it is important to practise the asanas at the coolest time of the day, say, early in the morning or late in the evening. However, there are postures that are perfect for the time of day when the temperature starts rising. Here are some asanas to help you stay cool.

Pranayama

II Chandrabhedi: Sit upright in a comfortable position. Close your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left. Hold momentarily and then, closing your left nostril, exhale through your right. Pause momentarily. Repeat ten times.

II Sheetali: Sit straight in a meditative posture. Keeping your palms on your knees in gyan mudra, draw out your tongue. Roll up the sides to form a tube-like opening and slowly suck air in through it. After a full inhalation, withdraw your tongue and close your mouth. Hold your breath for some time and slowly exhale through the nose. Repeat required number of times.

Forward bends

Back bends are easier to practise in summer because the heat makes the body more flexible. But don’t stay in the pose for too long because back bends heat up the body, sometimes overstimulating the nervous system.

Try adding more forward bends to the yoga sequences instead. Forward bends cool the body. They also help open up the hamstrings.

II Janu shirshasana: Sit on the floor with legs stretched out in front. Bend one of the legs at the knee and bring the heel as close to the groin as possible. Keeping your back straight and breathing normally, raise your arms above your head. As you exhale, move your torso forward, slowly and gradually. Make sure your back is straight. Reach for your toes without bending your knees. Hold for a few seconds and, inhaling, come back to the start position. Repeat with the other leg.

II Paschimottanasana: Sit on the floor with legs stretched out in front. Keeping your back straight, breathe in and raise arms above your head. As you exhale, move your torso forward slowly. Make sure you keep your back straight. Reach for your toes without bending your knees. Hold for a few seconds and, inhaling, come back to the start position. Repeat with the other leg.

 

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