When practicing yoga you may want to adjust your yoga practice depending on the seasons and the weather. In the UK we have recently experienced a couple of heat waves which has been amazing!
Please keep in mind that yoga is quite different to other forms of exercise. Though certain poses can develop heat and make you sweat if you adjust your practice in the heat with the tips below yoga can in fact help you to cool down! So there is no need to avoid exercise or movement because it’s too hot!
In order to keep up with my daily yoga practice even in the heat I have incorporated the tips below into my practice and I hope they will be useful for you too!
1. Work on poses that take the feet and arms wide apart such as Warrior pose (Virabhadrasana) and Triangle Pose (Trikonasana). You can also adjust some common poses like downward facing dog to go wider with the feet. Also in child’s pose you can take the knees wide and extend the arms out in front of you. Finding ways to open up and spread the body apart will help to release any excess heat in the body.
2. Incorporate forward bends as these are cooling and passive for the body. A wide stance forward bend is also a good way to still keep the arms and legs wide apart.
3. Use cooling breaths such as the Sheetali breath or Chandra Bheddan. Avoid the Ujayi breath and Kapal Bhati which can generate heat in the body.
4. Always complete your practice with a relaxation even if it’s for just 2 minutes and be sure to take the hands and feet wide apart to once again release any excess heat built up in the body from your practice.
5. Drink plenty of water – obviously this isn’t directly related to your yoga practice but if you are going to exercise and move the body please stay hydrated even if that means you need to pause your practice for a moment to take water. Generally I don’t take in water during my practice as I just feel it sets off the sense of taste and the digestive system and the heat in your practice known as tapas can really cleanse the body. However in extreme heat I definitely take short breaks to keep myself hydrated and I advise you to do the same too.
Let me know how you get on in your home practice during the hot weather and I hope you can join me on Monday in my online class.
See you then!