05 Jul Beat the heat with your yoga practice
The heat wave has Europe firmly under control. 32 degrees and it gets even hotter! At high temperatures the body is quickly overtaxed: Headaches, dizziness, exhaustion and nausea are often the symptoms. In addition to lots of water and salts (electrolytes), gentle yoga techniques can also help to reduce symptoms and make the heat more bearable.
Sitali breathing is an exercise that cools the body. It also reduces fatigue, bad breath, fever and high blood pressure.
This is how it’s done:
• Finde a comfortable position: You can do Pranayama (breathing technique) while sitting or lying down. Choose the posture that is more comfortable for you. Make sure that your spine, neck and head are aligned.
• Close your eyes and observe your breathing without changing anything.
• Now form with your lips and your tongue an “O”. Some can also roll the tongue lengthwise.
• Inhale deeply and cover the whole tongue with air. Feel how the air is cooling down your tongue.
• Close your mouth and exhale through your nose.
• Repeat this exercise for two to three minutes. Then return to a normal involuntary breath.
Inversions like headstand and shoulder stand have a calming and cooling effect on the body. Inversions should always be practiced with much calm and concentration.
If you are doing the headstand for the first time, practice against a wall. Interlace your fingers and place the crown of your head on the floor (you can use a blanket or a pillow underneath). Lift your hips up and walk your feet closer to your head. Come up on tippy toes. Now pull one leg after the other into your chest (never jump or kick!). As soon as you have the balance, extend your legs to the ceiling. Press into your forearms so that less weight is on your head and your spine.
Hold the headstand for one to five minutes.
Place your shoulders on a blanket and your head a little lower on the floor or the mat a little lower. Lift your legs to the ceiling, press your arms and hands into the mat. Let your legs sink slightly to the ground and with Momentum press yours legs back and lift your pelvis. Bring your hands to the lower back bring the elbows close to your body. Extend the legs to the ceiling as straight as you can hold it. Important in this pose: your neck stays very still (don’t turn your head!). Stay one to five minutes in the pose. Use your hands and your abdominal muscles to roll back slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae.
If you don’t dare to stand on your head or shoulders, you can simply lie on your back and stretch your arms and legs into the air. The exercise becomes more comfortable if you place a block or a bolster (pillow) under your sacrum.
The supine twist gently activates the spine and lets the energies flow in the body again. This also improves the temperature balance in the body.
This is how it works:
Lie on your back and pull your knees towards your chest. Move your pelvis a few centimeters to the left and drop your knees to the right side. Look to the left or to the ceiling. Both shoulders remain on the floor. If necessary, place a pillow or block under your knees. Stay here for 10 to 20 breaths. Then change sides.
Special tip: Essential Oil
You can also cool off a little with an essential oil. Take a high-quality peppermint oil and put a few drops in your neck, behind your earlobes and on the inside of your elbows. The oil has a cooling and calming effect.
What are your techniques to beat the heat? Write us in the comments!