Asanas to keep you cool in summersDate : 2016-06-21
Summer is a time of high ‘vibration’, associated with intensity and volatility, and therefore we need to take measures to be cooler and calmer, inside and out,” says Mansi Mahajan, founder of House of Kapaali which plays host to spiritual workshops and yoga retreats.
She says that according to Ayurveda, Pitta dosha, which is the fire element in our body, is predominant during summer months and we need to take measures to balance this fiery energy.
“Along with eating foods that restore a natural sense of cooling, we should indulge in a yoga practice that is slow in its flow, and therefore less agitating for the body and mind, so that we avoid too much of one energetic force,” says Mahajan who is a certified ‘Yoga
Alliance’ teacher, having completed her teacher training from Mysore in 2014.
According to her it is essential to stay focused internally, keeping an active awareness on the body and breath, with smooth transitions between asanas.
She has advised some asanas that will help you breeze through the summer ahead, helping to activate the Manipura Chakra or the solar plexus, which is the powerhouse of our energy resource.
Chandra Namaskara or Moon Salutation: While sun salutations are heat generating and intensive, moon salutations are cooling. If practiced with an awareness of breath, even a few rounds can really help to bring about a deep sense of presence and calmness, providing a meditative aspect to our practice.
Utthita Parsvakonasana or Extended Side Angle: This pose helps strengthen legs, and activate the digestive system by working on the abdominal organs. It should be practiced with consciousness of breath, so as to cultivate a sense of awareness in the mind-body-spirit.
Matsyasana or Fish Pose: This stretches the abdominals, and creates space in the intercostals (muscles between the ribs), hence alleviating respiratory issues and bringing in calming oxygen into our system.
Ustrasana or Camel Pose: It is much-needed for opening up the solar plexus since it stretches the anterior muscles of the body, improving the flexibility of the spine and allowing for free movement of energy.
Shitali Pranayama: No practice is complete without some pranayama, which helps to extend the vital life force. For the summer months in particular, this pranayama is fantastic. This breathing technique creates natural cooling inside the body. Think of it like knocking on the in-built air conditioning system of your body and naturally regulating your body temperature.
Single-Nostril Breathing: This is an effective breathing technique, because it activates the Ida Nadi (subtle channel) by focusing on breathing only through the left nostril. Located on the lunar side of the body, which is the body’s cooling channel, it soothes and grounds, reconnecting your center to the earth.