Spring-summer is a time when you’d like to steer clear of intensive workouts out in the sun, however you may like to start with yoga exercises for mental peace and physical fitness. To balance the heat and energy of the weather, you need to cultivate cool and calm inside the body. So indulge yourself in some yoga workouts within the confines of your home or in your backyard garden and be able to beat the stress and the bulge. Forget signing up for a yoga retreat this summer, instead get a detox at home, with perhaps a few friends in tow!
The ancient, rather thousand-year old system Yoga which is ideal for complete wellbeing should be practiced everyday ideally in the morning or evening on an empty stomach. Also you need patience to see results within you, inside out while you are at it! Here’s how you can make your summertime yoga a hit and recharge your internal batteries.
Mansi Mahajan, certified Yoga Alliance Teacher gives us a few yoga exercises to keep fresh this season. “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. According to Ayurveda, the 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. Our bodies adapt naturally between seasons, but a little bit of assistance surely doesn’t hurt.
It is essential to stay focused internally, keeping an active awareness on the body and breath, with smooth transitions between asanas. We may find that a feeling of ease that sets in is only a byproduct of the stillness of the mind.”
She further adds, “ Here are 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 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 stretches the abdominal, and creates space in the intercostal (muscles between the ribs), hence alleviating respiratory issues and bringing in calming oxygen into our system.
Ustrasana or Camel Pose is a great 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.
No practice is complete without some pranayama, which helps to extend the vital life force. For the summer months in particular, Shitali 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.
Summers are an imperative time to release excess fire and allowing some space in our body, mind and breath. Surrender to the asana, rather than struggle with it, so that there is a sense of continuity in our practice. It is a time to practice restorative poses, which are as good for the body as they for the soul. Awaken your inner magician and make this summer a time to celebrate and love with passion, “shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”