Yoga under the sun

light & simple

Yoga under the sun

When temperatures started gradually climbing, we thought it was just a heat wave which would blow over in a few days. However, now we can safely say that the heat is here to stay. So, lazing around in an air-conditioned room or under the hot fan isn’t an option any longer, because let’s face it: life, work and yoga have to move on.

Less exhausting

However, there are a few things that you can do to continue your yoga practice, and stay healthy and fit through this heat wave.

If you practice an intense style of yoga such as power, vinyasa, ashtanga etc., then wake up an hour earlier and complete your practice before the sun comes  up. By doing this, you will be able to avoid overheating, and thereby exhausting your body.

Decrease the number of surya namaskars. Surya namaskars produce heat in the body and we don’t need that these days. You can opt to add a few slow surya namaskars, but ensure that the pace is slow and easy.

Now is a great time to focus on flexibility as your body is naturally warmer and your muscles are relaxed. Use these few weeks to focus on working on opening up those parts of your body that you feel need a bit more attention and opening. Many of us have stiff backs and tight hamstrings or hip joint. The warm weather is a good time to safely and effectively work on these challenging body parts.

If you are hot headed, angry or irritable, you will tend to feel hotter than your calm friend. Devote some time to meditation every day to remain emotionally, mentally and physically calm.

Now is also a good time to include pranayama and deep breathing in your routine. Contact a good teacher and learn a few simple and effective breathing techniques, and include them in your routine for only 10-15 minutes. That is sufficient to re-energise the body.

You may not feel like eating when it is so hot outside, and I suggest that you listen to your body. During the summers, we naturally don’t feel like eating large and heavy meals. Instead, stick to light and easy to digest foods. Lots of summer fruits have a high water content which is what our bodies need during this season.

Hydrate well. Water will not only quench your thirst but will also help in regulating the temperature of your body.

If possible, avoid going out between 12-3 pm as this is the time when the sun is at its hottest. In fact, according to Ayurveda, this is a good time to take a nap!

Once you have taken care of keeping yourself cool on the inside, work on keeping your environment cool. Keep the windows and doors closed against the afternoon heat. Using a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil also contributes to keeping your house cool and comfortable.

(The author is a Bengaluru-based yoga instructor)

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