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Keep Calm & Cool Down: 3 Yoga Poses to Practice this Summer

July 20, 2015


We are in the middle of summer, and it has definitely been one for the books.

The sun shines bright, the days are longer, and the nights are filled with bonfires and smores.

What’s not to love about the summertime?

Well, for one, the heat. It gets pretty intense and sometimes more than we can really handle. The excess heat can create a lot of exhaustion and fatigue. It’s important to stay cool in the summer.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, the summer is the time of pitta.

As the heat rises outside, the heat is naturally rising on the inside as well. Internally, the liver plays a huge role in the summer. The liver is a key player as one of the main seats of pitta. It also happens to be the hottest organ in the body.

This makes sense since one of the qualities of pitta is being hot. So, when the outside temperature is making the inside temperature go up, you can bet the liver is anything but blazing.

So, one way to stay cool this summer is to target the liver directly, and help flush out the excess heat. Try these simple pranayama and asanas on their own or adding them to your daily sadhana to help cool down that pitta.

3 Yoga Poses to Practice this Summer

1. Sheetali

Begin by rolling your tongue into a tube and sticking it out of your mouth. Simply close your eyes, and begin inhaling through the tube. Bring your tongue and gently exhale through the nose. Repeat this pranayama anywhere from 7 to 17 times, no more than that. Can’t roll your tongue? No problem, just create a tube with your lips as though you are inhaling from a straw.

What’s so great about sheetali?

It brings in cool air directly to the abdomen, cooling everything off as you inhale. It’s one of the best pranayama for pitta, relaxing you physically and mentally as well. Not only is it really great for pitta, but it helps nourish all the prana in your body. An added bonus!

2. Trikonasana

This is a great pose for pitta as well. As you bend over your waist, and stretch the sides of your body out, heat is automatically pulled out of your body. Side stretches in general are great for releasing heat out of the liver and spleen.

Take it up a notch by gazing down – a great way to calm down the heat as well.

3. Ardha Matsyendrasana

Twists in general are great, but this seated twist is extra great. On each inhale, try to go deeper in the twist from the actual abdomen, and not so much from the neck and head. The more the core gets twisted, the more the liver gets twisted, which will help release a lot of the heat from the liver.

Enjoy the summer! But, enjoy the coolness that comes along with it as well.

Nishita Shah is an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner and Registered Yoga Teacher. She is members of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, Yoga Alliance, and International Association of Yoga Therapists. She studied under the world-renowned Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she studied Ayurveda and Yoga. She is an avid believer in that the universe is the most giving energy out there--and does her best to integrate everything she has received from it into her life. She is passionate about holistic living, and does her best to embody those principles into her own life. CHeck out her website for more info!