June marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. All things nature are in full swing of growth and the heat of summer starts blessing us for the first time since September last year. Frankly, it’s my favorite time of the year! For most the agendas at work start to slow down, schools are out of session and people begin to take vacations. It’s truly the perfect time to allow yourself time to pull back from the consistent go-go-go and take in nature’s beauty. Which can also means taking your yoga practice outside!
I find in the warmer months my yoga practice not only gets outside more, it changes as I find myself outside more doing outdoor activities (walking, biking, swimming, and gardening) and due to the summer heat, I find a vigorous practice/exercise is not what I need as it tends to exhaust me rather than my intent to feel nourished after my exercise, especially while trying to conceive. So if I’m limited on time or energy due to other summer activities my go-to pose is Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).
I chose this pose because it’s a pose that’s a one stop shop, it stretches my shoulders, hamstrings, calves, feet and hands. It strengthens my arms, legs, wrists, belly and muscles along my spine. It energizes my body, mind and often my digestion if it’s stagnant.
If you’re new to yoga or this pose you can modify the pose by placing your hands at the wall until you build more strength in your body. Click on hyperlink link above for video instructions of the pose.
Lastly, when your body temperature is up from the summer heat or maybe your flushed with anxiety or anger and need some settling in your body and mind. Try out Sitali Breath (cooling breath) below.
How to practice Sitali:
• Start seated comfortably with a head, neck and spine in alignment;
• Close your eyes and take a few natural breaths in and out of the nose;
• Make an “O” space with your mouth;
• If you can curl the tongue into itself and stick it out of the mouth (no worries if you cannot, not everyone is able);
• Inhale deeply like drinking through a straw (bring in the cooler air through the tongue as your belly, ribs and chest fill up);
• Exhale completely through the nose, closing the mouth.
• You can practice this for 2-3 minutes. Come back to the natural breath and try again if needed.
I hope you’re able to enjoy your summer outside as much as possible. Classes will still be held at the Moon this summer so don’t forget to visit us on the rainy days :)
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