Today it felt like the summer began here already in Portugal. Temperatures are climbing and it looks like it’s going to stay this way for a couple of weeks. What better way to find some techniques to cool yourself down than yoga, you say?
Well, let’s have a look at some great easy yoga tricks to cool your body down. This doesn’t just apply for those hot days, but they’re also amazing to get your body temperature back to normal after your workout!
Yoga To Cool Down
Alright, it’s crazy hot and there’s no pool to be found. Who you gonna call? Well, I can say that the Ghostbusters aren’t the answer to your problem here. You call your favorite yoga teacher for some advice! Or you can just keep on reading this article to find some poses and pranayama techniques to help you out ;).
First of all, I’d like to start with a little disclaimer. As I don’t want you to freeze your body. Alright, that’s not going to happen anyway. But I do have to add that these exercises and breathing techniques aren’t going to be suitable for people with respiratory diseases or low blood pressure.
5 Cooling Asanas
Childs Pose (Balasana)
I’ve talked about this asana already in my article about adjusting asanas for people with overweight. But I’ll mention it again here, as for now, we won’t be doing the adjusted version. If you are interested though, feel free to click this link.
This position is quite amazing to cool yourself down. It might look like this would actually make you warm as you are curling up yourself. But as this is a resting position, your body has the time and chance to lower its temperature a little.
You can do this asana wherever, whenever, and how long you’d like. That’s the beauty of it. Especially when you’ve built up a sweat and your heart is pumping, this is a great one to do. Going back into a fetus-like position comforts you and your body and you’ll feel relaxed and chilled in no-time.
It’s also a very easy position. You crouch down all the way until you end up on your knees. You put your feet together, knees a bit wider until they are about hip-width apart. Then you put your forehead on the mat.
Regarding the arms, you’ve got two options: Or you put them in front of you, or you put them next to your body. Whatever position you choose, they should always be inactive. You won’t be using any arm muscles.
Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)
I always love the way that hip-openers are cooling you down as well. I’m not sure why though, but every time I do them it feels like a soothing chill vibrates into my body.
It sounds a bit like Mojo, but try it out yourself and you’ll see ;).
For this position you’ve got to sit on the mat, bringing your feet towards you while the feet are touching. A great piece of advice: If you don’t want to hurt your knees, don’t pull your legs. Lift your buttocks off from the ground with your hands and move your buttocks towards the feet.
Normally you should feel a little pull in your hips, now. If you’d like a bit of an intenser stretch, you can decide to bend forward a little. Quick note, you won’t be able to bend that deeply, so don’t get too frustrated that you are only moving a couple of inches.
The hands should be around your feet as well, to give you that little pull-down.
An option as well, and a great one to create a little draft to cool yourself down, is to wave your knees up and down.
Legs Up The Wall
This one is great to give your legs some rest after a hike or a run. But also just in general to let your body get a little rest.
It’s not that hard to do, you only need a wall, hence why it’s called legs up the wall.
What you want to do for this asana is, you put one side of your body next to the wall, making sure that one of your hips are as close to it as possible. Bend the knees, make sure that the hand closest to the wall reaches to the back of your body.
When you are in this position, start to twist your body. Your back goes onto the floor and your legs walk slowly up. Make sure that your buttocks don’t shift too much to be as close to the wall. The arms support you a little to make sure you don’t fall flat on your back.
Now, when your feet are up the wall, just put your arms beside your body and relax ;).
Puppy Pose (Anahatasana)
Puppy pose is a little mix of childs pose and down-dog. It gives the relaxation of childs pose and at the same time a little stretch of the shoulders that you’d normally have with down-dog.
If you are at a yoga class where they do a lot of downward facing dogs, you can decide to go into puppy pose if down-dog is a bit too intense for you. It’s a great option and it doesn’t put a lot of strain on your shoulders. It opens them up, but very mildly.
To move into this position, you start on your knees. Your spine is straight for now. On an inhale, bring your arms over your head and move down with your upper body on an exhale.
Place your arms on the mat and makes sure you don’t move your body too much forward. This will give you a proper stretch in your shoulder.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
I think this one is a bit of an obvious one, but I do have to add it as it really cools you down. Quick note though, it’s not advisable to do this one after your workout right away. Give your body an after-stretch to make sure you won’t get sore! Hint: these poses up here are a good way to start.
And why does it work to cool down while it’s very hot outside? Well, when you are in a relaxing position and you focus on your breathing, your heart will slow down, blood circulation will improve, and voila! Your body will cool down naturally.
Every yogi knows this pose, but I will explain it for those who are not that acquainted with yoga just yet. For this asana you need to lie down with your back on the mat. Make sure that the heels of your feet are about hip-width apart and that your feet are relaxed. They might even fall to the outside.
For the arms, put them next to your body, but make sure they are positioned a bit further away. Ideal is to put the back of your hand on the mat. This way you can completely relax your shoulders and neck.
When you are in this position, close your eyes and slowly breath. I’ve written about some breathing exercises if you’d like to have more guidance during this position.
Yogic Breathing Exercises to Cool Down
The next two breathing exercises that I’m going to talk about are actually the same. However, one is for those who can’t roll their tongue, the other one for those who can. If you are one of the lucky ones that can do it, congratulations, you can do both of them ;).
They both have the same effect, they will cool you down. This is not just in temperature but also in temper. If you do experience some anger, which I suppose we all experience once in a while, then this is your go-to.
As I mentioned above, like all the way on top of the article, this better shouldn’t be done if you’ve got low blood pressure, respiratory disorders, or if you are constipated.
This one is for those people who can roll their tongue. It’s actually quite easy. Stick your tongue out, curl it like a tube and inhale through it. Exhale through the nose again.
Make sure you do this exercise on an empty stomach as it can slow down your digestion. Which is also why people with constipation issues best not perform this one.
The length for this one should be around 3 minutes max when you are not acquainted enough with pranayama.
This one is a nice alternative for the people who can’t curl their tongue. I’ve never met someone that can’t do it, but then again it’s also not a question I ask people daily.
For this pranayama technique, you put the tip of your tongue at your palate. It’s best to put on the roof of your mouth near the root of your upper teeth. When you’ve done this, put your upper and lower incisors together and keep your mouth open.
Now breathe in through your mouth and you’ll experience yourself making this hissing sound. After the inhalation, exhale through the nose.
Also for this one, you need to take the exact same precautions.
That’s it for yoga to cool down your body during a heatwave, or just after a good run or whatever sport you’ve been practicing. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article and if you’ve got any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section below!