5 Poses To Keep You Cool

 

Beat the heat this summer with this calm and cooling yin flow.

  1. Heart Opening Camel:
  • Kneel on the floor with your knees aligned under your hips and your thighs perpendicular to the floor. Your spine is neutral and your head is lifting.
  • Inhale; lift your spine and slowly lower your hands back to hold your heels.
  • Exhale; maintain length in your neck as you lower your head back. Keep your hips working forwards and your spine lengthening upwards at all times. Press down strongly into your feet, shins and hands to create more lift in the pose.
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths.

To come out of the pose: inhale; lengthen. Exhale; squeeze your buttocks and activate your core as you carefully lift back up to the starting position, with your head coming up last. Lower your hips to your heels and fold forward into Child’s Pose. Rest for 5-10 breaths.

Modification: If you aren’t ready to arch all the way back, you can place your hands on your lower back and only stretch back as far as you feel comfortable

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  1. Seated Forward Fold:
  • Sit with your legs extended; feet are flexed, thighs squeezing towards each other. You may want to place a folded blanket under your buttocks if your hamstrings are tight or there is strain in your lower back. Lengthen your spine upwards and feel your ribcage lifting out of your hips and waist.
  • Create space between your neck and shoulders as you reach your fingertips to the floor alongside your legs. Inhale as you lengthen through the front of your torso and elongate your spine.
  • Exhale as you begin to fold forward, walking your fingertips down towards your feet; leading with your chest. When you have reached a comfortable stretch, begin to lower your head towards your legs and soften through your shoulders. If you are able to, take hold of your feet and draw against the soles of your feet to increase the intensity of the stretch. Only go as far as you can without rounding your lower back.

Notice the two way stretch as your hips move backwards and your spine lengthens forwards. Inhale and exhale as you sink deeper into the pose.

To come out of the pose: Inhale, draw your navel in and either maintain straight legs, or bend your knees. Lengthen forwards out of your hips, coming up with a straight spine, pressing your hands into the floor if you need to.

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  1. Seated Wide Legged Forward-Fold :
  • Sit on the floor with your legs wide apart. Flex your feet and firm your thighs, being mindful not to let your knees roll inwards. Lift your ribcage out of your hips and feel your abdomen lengthen. Shoulders are relaxing down away from your ears.
  • Inhaling, walk your hands out in front and begin to fold forward, folding from your hips. Only fold as far as you can without bending at the waist.
  • If you are close enough to the floor, drop your head to rest on the floor, or place a block or some cushions between your head and the floor.
  • Inhale; press your heels away and lengthen your spine. Exhale, soften deeper into the forward fold, surrendering the torso towards the floor. Hold for 10-15 breaths, or as long as 10mins.

To come out of the pose: inhaling, lengthen the spine and engage your abdominals as you press down into your hands to fold up from the hips. Exhale, take your hands under your knees and use the strength of your arms to draw your knees back together. In a seated tuck position; hug your knees into your chest and drop your forehead to your knees.

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  1. Crescent Moon:
  • From Down Dog, exhale; step your right foot in between your hands. Align your knee with your heel so that your shin is perpendicular to the floor. Drop your back knee to the floor and flatten your back foot. Allow your hips to descend towards the floor until you feel a comfortable stretch in your hips. You may need to slide your back leg away.
  • Inhale; press into your fingertips and lift up through your core (navel in, pelvic floor up). Raise your hips slightly and work your right hip back and your left hip under and forward to make sure your hips are square.
  • Exhale; release down into the lunge again. Take your hands to rest on your right knee. If this is strong enough for you, stay in this position.
  • Inhale; lift your spine and raise your arms above your head, bringing your hands into a pistol grip. Allow your chest to open and broaden.
  • Exhale; relax your shoulders down away from your ears as your hips move closer to the floor.
  • Inhale; lift up out of the hips, all the way up through the fingertips. Exhale; surrender deeper into the stretch, allowing your hips to soften towards the floor. Hold for 5-15breaths.

To come out of the pose: Draw your navel in, and on an exhalation, lower your hands either side of your foot and step back into Down Dog.

Repeat on the opposite side.

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  1. Lying Visnu :
  • Lay on your right side with your knees slightly bent. Prop your head up on your arm, resting your head in your hand.
  • Loop a belt or scarf around the ball of your left foot.
  • Inhale as you extend your leg, straightening it as best you can, drawing back on the belt and flexing your heel in the opposite direction. Create stability by drawing in through the belly, and grounding down through all the parts of your body in contact with the floor.
  • Inhale to lengthen your leg away from your torso, exhale as you gently draw your leg in towards your torso. Feel the back of your leg opening. If you can’t feel the stretch, try rolling your top hip forward more. Keep inhaling and exhaling as you continue to draw your leg in and out.
  • When you’re ready, release the leg down and change sides.

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