Hot summer days can leave us longing for a lazy float down a cool, clear river. Here in Vermont this is fairly accessible to most but if your schedule doesn’t allow for water time, you can find some cooling with your yoga practice. Here are eight simple practices you can incorporate into your day to help you keep your cool.
Anamaya
Anamaya Kosha is the energy body that refers to the physical self. Pay attention to your body when it’s hot and slow things down a bit. Move through a sun salutation at a slower pace taking 2-3 breaths in each posture. This allows the body to lubricate your joints and warm up the muscles without creating too much heat in the body.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Supported bridge. Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor, press your hips up, keep your shoulders and head on the floor. Using a block allows the body to settle into the pose, lifting the hips above the heart with less effort, less heat. Sneak a block under your sacrum and settle in.
Supta baddha konasana
Reclining Bound Angle pose. Lie on your back, brings the soles of your feet together. Let the weight of your knees cause your legs to open, do not force the stretch. This restorative pose helps to release the hips and heart when extended over a bolster
Viparita Karani
Legs up the wall. High temperatures and humidity can contribute to pooling of fluids in the legs resulting in swollen feet and ankles.  Legs up the wall can return this fluid back to the body.
Pranamaya: Sitali Breath
Curl your tongue and stick it out between your lips. If you can’t curl your tongue place the tip of your tongue just behind your top front teeth. Slowly draw air in feeling to coolness as the air enters your mouth and travels down the back of your throat.  Close your mouth and exhale through your nose
Manamaya
How do our thoughts affect our body temperature?  As we race around trying to cram in as much fun into our summer as possible we are building up heat in our minds.  When you feel yourself rushing around take a moment to take a breath without moving. Don’t worry – you’ll only “lose” 10 seconds out the the 86,400 in each day.  In your yoga practice, back off 10-20{2bd103ee3922297dd26721aa2b4723f52b7c1e46e10078a5bb1f7638d0cbcf8c} in each pose. Breathe where you are rather than pushing and pushing ever deeper.  Use blocks to support the body in poses such as a lunge or bridge.
Vijnanamaya
Choosing cooling foods such as cucumber, blueberries, and melon helps to balance our constitution from the heat of the day. Even better, these foods are in season (coincidence?). Steep some mint or cucumber slices in water at room temperature for a refreshing drink.
Anandamaya
To find your blissful state despite temps in the 90s and humidity causing you to sweat lying still use this visualization.  Imagine you are floating in an inner tube on a cool river. Feel the water lapping up over the sides of the tube and splashing at your feet. Hear the sounds of the water gurgling as you drift through a swifter current. See the ripples form around rocks in the river.  Immerse yourself in this scene.
 

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