6 Yoga Poses That Will Keep You Cool This Summer

Megan Johnson
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Summer is here and going strong! You know what that means . . . sunbathing on the beach, ice-cold lemonade (perhaps with a splash of bourbon?), and tan lines for days.

Whoooo!

Summer also means boob sweat, wearing your hair in a messy bun so it doesn’t stick to the back of your neck, and finding new ways to keep up with your yoga practice that don’t bring you to your knees bathed in sweat and exhaustion.

Of course, practicing yoga with the fan or air conditioner blasting is always an option. But that might cut into your peaceful practice.

Luckily, there are some cooling yoga poses that will help you stay cool and refreshed this summer season!

Traveling this summer? Check out these 7 Tips to Keep Your Inner Peace on the Road

 
 

Practice These 6 Cooling Yoga Poses to Help Keep You Refreshed This Summer:

Keep your body temperature regulated while continuing your yoga practice during the hot summer days with these six cooling asanas!

But always remember to listen to your body when you practice yoga. If your temperature rises and you start to feel uncomfortable, take a break.
 

1. Easy Pose

Sitting in a comfortable position in a relaxing space is always good for regulating, well . . . everything. Easy Pose will help you to relax your mind and body, calm the nervous system, and let go of any intruding thoughts you might experience.

Easy-Pose-(1)

Easy Pose, or Sukhasana, is also the perfect pose to practice a cooling meditation or guided imagery, helping you dive deeper into a relaxing, cool state.

Let’s try it:

  • Find a comfortable seated position on your yoga mat, your bed, or in your meditation space
  • Keep in mind that you will ideally sit here for some time so make sure to support your spine by sitting on a bolster or resting against a wall
  • Inhale to lengthen your spine skyward and keep your shoulders stacked above your hips, relaxing your hands on your knees or in your lap
  • Take a few deep breaths to relax your body and mind

 
Pro Tip: Practicing Sitali Breath (the Cooling Breath) will help you cool down faster. To practice Sitali, curl your tongue like a taco (mmmmm tacos!). Inhale through your tongue to add moisture to your inhalation. This calms a Pitta dosha imbalance, something that is said to be common in the summer months.

Curious What Your Dosha Is? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About These Ayurvedic Mind-Body Types
 

2. Supported Fish

Supported Fish is a fantastic chest opener as it relaxes the shoulders and neck and stretches your entire front body. This cooling yoga pose also calms the nervous system.

Fish Pose

When our fight or flight response in the nervous system activates, our core body temperature increases.

Let’s try it:

  • Lie on your back and place a pillow, bolster, block, or rolled up yoga mat under your shoulder blades (behind your heart)
  • Recline over your prop so that your chest is lifted toward the sky
  • You can place your arms wherever they are comfortable – alongside your hips, to the side in a “T” shape, or extend them overhead, resting the back of your hands on the floor
  • Completely relax your legs

 

Practicing cooling asanas that relieve neck tension allows you to release heat and open up your energy centers

3. Cat/Cow

If you’re anything like me, you get awfully cranky when you overheat. Getting cranky means holding tension in the body and, for most of us, that means holding that tension in your neck.

Cat-Pose-summer

Cow-Pose-summer

Furthermore, when we are holding tension, we block our chakra energy centers and wind up holding heat within our bodies.

Learn all about your energy centers with Chakra 101: An Introduction to the 7 Chakras

Practicing cooling asanas that relieve neck tension allows you to release heat and open up your energy centers, regulating your body temperature and keeping you cool.

Let’s try it:

  • Begin in a tabletop position with your knees in-line with your hips and your shoulders in-line with your wrists
  • Inhale as you drop your belly down and lift your tailbone skyward for Cow Pose
  • Hold here for a breath
  • Then exhale as you round your back and tuck your chin towards your chest for Cat Pose
  • Hold here for a breath, then repeat for several breaths

 

 
 

4. Pigeon

As mentioned, holding tension in our hips from heat-induced crankiness blocks our energy centers, trapping heat inside our bodies. Along with the neck, our hips are a hotspot for holding tension.

Pigeon-Pose-summer

Hip-opening, cooling yoga poses are always a good choice. Hip openers allow you to release negative energy, unblock the flow of positive energy, and cool down your body.
 
Let’s try it:

  • Begin in Downward Dog
  • Inhale as you raise your right leg
  • Exhale as you bring your right leg forward, bending your knee as you rest your outer right shin on the mat
  • Bring your right heel in closer to your body for a gentler stretch or bring your right shin more parallel to the front of the mat for a deeper stretch
  • Flex your right foot and extend your left leg behind you, straightening your knee and pointing your toes
  • Square your hips forward, keeping them as close to the floor as you can. You can also grab a pillow or block to place under your right hip
  • Inhale as you lift your torso
  • Exhale as you fold your torso over your right leg
  • Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply for as long as you are comfortable
  • Repeat on the other side

 

5. Legs Up the Wall

If there is one yoga pose that is everyone’s favorite, it’s this one! Legs Up the Wall is one of the best cooling asanas you can practice for your body. This pose can alleviate stress and headaches, improve digestion, and reduce swelling, which is a common problem in the summer months.

Legs-up-on-the-Wall-summer

Further, by sending blood to your core, Legs Up the Wall also gives your heart a break from working so hard to pump blood throughout your body, slowing the heart rate and calming the mind and body.

Let’s try it:

  • Lie down on your back on your mat or bed
  • Bring your bottom as close as you can to the wall. Option to use a pillow or bolster to help support your lower back
  • Lift your legs upward on the wall. You want to stack your ankles over your knees, and your knees over your hips
  • Relax your legs should with the soles of your feet facing toward the sky

 

6. Knee to Chest

Knee to Chest, or Eka Pada Apanasana, is a great pose to relieve stress, strengthen your core, and aid digestion. Typically in the summer months, we have a tendency to eat foods that are sugary or harder to digest.

Knees-to-Chest

While the normal digestive process increases body temperature by one or two degrees, trouble in your digestive tract can actually bring infection, fever, and bloating.

By massaging the digestive tract, practicing Eka Pada Apanasana can help keep your digestive tract running smoothly to avoid any uncomfortable issues.

Let’s try it:

  • Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs straight out in front of you
  • Interlace your fingers beneath your right kneecap. Bend your right knee bring it in towards your right armpit
  • Hug your right knee while keeping both feet flexed and engaged
  • Repeat on the other side
  • You can also practice this pose by hugging both knees into the chest simultaneously

 

Bonus! Watch What You Eat

Another way to keep cool? Watch what you eat! Some foods require your body to burn more energy during the digestion process such as iced coffee, lean meat, and complex carb foods while other foods cause inflammation (such as fried foods, soda, and red meat).

Both these types of food increase your body temperature. Keep your body temperature regulated this summer by eating lots of nuts, leafy greens, fish, and fruits. And of course, drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

Want to Fight Inflammation From the Inside Out? Eat More of These 5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods

 
 

Practice These Cooling Asanas This Summer!

Remember, sweating is a good thing! Sweating is the body’s natural way of regulating body temperature.

While practicing yoga (or any other form of exercise) increases the body’s temperature, practicing in the summer months can feel like a daunting task when you’re sweating before you even walk out the door.

That said, you don’t need to take your yoga practice completely off the table! Practice these cooling yoga poses to help you stay cool and refreshed this summer so that you can keep up with your yoga practice and give your mind and body the love it deserves!

Looking for more ways to enjoy summer? Celebrate Summer With Walking Meditation – Here Are 4 Different Forms to Choose From

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Megan Johnson

Megan is a certified yoga instructor based out of Canada. With a degree in Psychology, Megan started Learning Lotuses to bring yoga and mindfulness into education because she believes in the positive growth and development of our children and educators.

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