Despite the past weeks of humidity, the studio has managed to stay a cool haven to practice. The brick walls, fans, and cooling poses have all helped to keep us internally cool, calm, and centered during these sizzling summer days. As the summer days continue to heat up, this month’s blog posting is focused on tips on how to stay cool on your mat. Enjoy, replenish, and dive into your practice.
Tips to staying cool on your mat:
- Forward bends and poses on the earth help to ground your energy, slow your heart rate, create more space, and in affect, cool your being.
- Practice Chandra Bhedena (moon breath). Invite more cooling energy into your being by practicing the moon breath. Come to a comfortable seat & take vishnu mudra with your right hand (middle & pointer finger come in towards palm, ring finger, pinky, and thumb remain out). Begin by taking a deep inhale and exhale through both nostrils. Then close off your right nostril with your thumb & inhale through your left nostril. Close off the left nostril with pinky and exhale through the right. That is one full cycle. Repeat 5-10 times, eventually working up to 10 mins.
- Pay attention to your breath and body. If your breath becomes very short, tense, and inconsistent, this is a good indication that you are building unnecessary heat in your practice. If your body is shaking, unsteady, back out of the pose, modify, and work to deepen and lengthen your breath.
- Move slowly and thoughtfully in your transitions.
- Embrace the water and earth elements in your practice. Moving fluidly in your poses and transitions will help bring out the water element in your practice. Allow yourself to flow, wiggle, and move with ease. To feel more grounded to the earth element, bring special attention to rooting your thighs back and tailbone down to the earth. From pelvis to earth, your energy to be rooted down to the ground with steadiness.
Extra credit, try these techniques off your mat! When things get heated up emotionally in your life, perhaps invite a cooling breath, root your energy to the earth, and bring attention to “staying cool.”