Summer is a time of heat and humidity especially here in Queensland. Mostly people try to avoid it by either staying in air conditioning or swimming. The really good thing about practicing asanas in summer is that it softens our muscles and helps us ease into stretches with grace, hence the popularity of ‘hot yoga’. If, however, you don’t like being all hot and sticky in your yoga practice it’s best to get it happening early in the morning before the heat of the day sets in or … practice in air conditioning.
For those who do choose to practice in the air conditioning be careful not to have it too cool. The ideal temperature depends on the type of practice you do. If your practice is strong and fast you will naturally need a cooler room to practice in so you might like to have it at the recommended temperature for gyms which is between 18 – 20 degrees however be careful of cooling down too much when it’s time to relax. For those who have a more gentle approach the recommendation is around 22 – 25 degrees. Humidity is also an important factor to take into consideration. When there is a lot of moisture in the air it is harder for the perspiration to be evaporated off the body and our natural cooling system is hampered. It’s recommended to have fans to blow the cool air around at these times.
Some yoga poses are heating whereas others are cooling. Poses which calm our nervous system and help us relax help us to cool down whereas back bends tend to be stimulating to the nervous system and heating. Try lots of forward bends and restorative poses in the hot weather. This is also a good time to stay long in our hip and shoulder opening seated poses like Cow Face Pose, Sleeping Pigeon and Wide-angle Forward Bend. Some breathing practices also help to cool us down like Rolled Tongue Breath and Left Nostril Breath. Read on to the asana article to find out how to roll your tongue and breathe. ☺