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Cooling Pranayama

Cooling Pranayama

Doing these breathing exercises will help you to blow off some steam, naturally. 

Sheetali

How to do:

  • Stick out your tongue and roll the sides up to form a tube
    (or purse your lips if you can’t roll your tongue)
  • Inhale deeply through the rolled tongue, feeling the cool air
  • Close your mouth and hold the breath for a few seconds
  • Exhale slowly through your nose
  • Repeat the cycle 5-10 times

Moon Breathing – Chandra Bhedana

How to do:

  • Use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your left nostril (this is the yin/lunar side and will help you to cool down)
  • Close both nostrils and hold the breath for a few seconds (optional).
  • Release your right nostril and exhale slowly through it, keeping the left nostril closed with your right ring finger
  • Repeat the cycle 5-10 times
  • Sit quietly, breathing normally, and notice the cooling effect

Cooling Yoga Poses

Here are some of my summer faves to incorporate into your practice

Prasarita Padottanasana – Wide Leg Forward fold

All forward folds are considered more cooling poses, as opposed to backbends, which tend to be more heating. 

Stand with your feet wide apart, toes slightly turned in. Inhale and lengthen your spine, then exhale and hinge at the hips, folding forward with a straight back. Place your hands on the floor (or on blocks), reaching the crown of your head down. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths in this pose.

Tip: Exhale through your mouth to release excess internal heat. 

Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge

start in a lunge position with one foot forward and the other leg extended back, with the knee and toes on the mat (if this is uncomfortable for your knee, add a blanket) Lift your torso, raise your arms overhead, and gently arch your back, gazing upward. 

Tip: I prefer to keep the back leg rather straight instead of dropping the hips down, in order to stretch the entire front of the thigh and not just the hip flexors. 

Ardha Hanumanasana – Half Splits

From Anjaneyasana, shift your hips back, extending your front leg straight with the heel on the mat and flexing your toes towards you. Fold forward over the extended leg, keeping your hips level. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths, or flow between low lunge and half splits a couple of times, breathing in for low lunge, and exhaling as you move in half splits.

Janu Sirsanana – Head to Knee Pose

This seated forward fold allows you to really relax into the pose, especially because you only stretch one side at a time. 

Sit with one leg extended straight and the other leg bent, with the sole of the bent leg touching the inner thigh of the extended leg. Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale and fold forward. Think chin to shin, rather than forehead to knee, this will help to keep your spine long. Hold for about 10 breaths and then change sides.

Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle or Butterfly Pose

Sit with your spine straight, bend your knees, and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees fall out to the sides. Hold your feet or ankles and gently press your knees towards the ground. Take a breath in and lengthen your spine, as you exhale, fold forward from the hips. 

Tip: If your lower back is tight, sit on a pillow to help tip your pelvis forward. You can also fold over a bolster to make the pose even more restorative. 

Continue with some cooling pranayama or finish your practice with your legs up against the wall and a long savasana. 

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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