Chill Out with These 6 Cooling Yoga Poses
In the hot days of summer, you can either stand in front of your air conditioner all day long, or you can try some of these naturally cooling yoga poses between your ice pops and cold showers.
As an asana category, forward bends are inherently calming to the nervous system and cooling to the body’s core temperature. Whereas backbends tend to heat and invigorate, forward bends are more easeful in nature, even if they are not always easy to perform.
Try nourishing your emotional, mental, and physical body with these cooling poses for summertime…
1. Prasarita Padottanasana (Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
This pose not only stretches your hamstrings, calves, hips and back, but also relieves stress, anxiety, mild depression, and neck and shoulder tension.
- From standing, step wide on your mat with your feet parallel to one another, and bring your hands down to the ground.
- Spread your legs as wide apart as your hamstrings and back muscles will allow, but ideally are about one leg’s length apart.
- Try to keep your hips in the same plane as your heels, as there is a tendency to lean back, causing undue tension. The idea here is to get your head below your heart, which will reduce “hot-headedness” and invite an introspective quality that is emotionally and energetically nourishing.
- Bend your knees if you need to for this variation.
- When you find yourself in a steady and comfortable position, take 5-10 deep breaths, without constricting the back of the throat. On particularly hot days, try exhaling through your mouth to let go of excess internal heat.
2. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
There are several variations of Child’s Pose, but this one is particularly restful, as you curl into a fetal position.
- Keep the knees and ankles close to one another as you sit back onto your heels. If your head doesn’t easily touch the ground, slip a block or pillow under your forehead.
- Reach your hands back to the outsides of your feet, with the palms face-up, and fingers effortlessly curled in toward the palms.
- Allow the shoulders to wrap around the thighbones in a passive and supported manner.
- Gently tuck the chin in toward the chest so the nose is free and clear for a natural breath.
- Stay here for a minute or more.