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Beat the heat - Stay cool in summer !
Summer's heat can leads too many adverse effects on the our body.
Heat, Heart and the Nervous system
When we are exposed to excessive heat, our body temperature rise and our heart has to work harder to release the extra body heat. Heart start pumps more blood to the outer surface of the body and heat is released through sweating. More the temperature, the harder the heart has to work.
Just like heart nervous system also has to work harder to maintain the balance of the body
# The harmful effects of overworking the heart and nervous system are:
Discomfort, fatigue and rise in pitta (fire) element, leading to Irritability, anger, anxiety and restlessness. More serious conditions, depending on the duration, that the body is exposed to high temperature
# Here are some simple ways to beat the heat :
# Try to avoid direct exposure to the sun
# When go outside use an umbrella, or a hat and sunglasses,
# Use sunscreen creams to protect the skin
# Wear comfortable clothes. Avoid layers of clothing
# Bring a bottle of water along with
# Add a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime to the water: When you sweat, the body loses a lot of salt
Note: A squeeze of lime can be cooling, but too much of it can aggravate pitta. Relax the mind, do some pranayamas and meditation
# 6 cooling summer yoga poses :
One of the best ways to encourage equilibrium in your body is through your yoga practice. Here are a few cooling yoga poses you can include in your daily routine:
•Moon Salutations: These are a variation of your Sun Salutes. If you want to do regular Sun Salutations, try to walk forward rather than jump forward to maintain the low vibratory feeling.
•Supported Backbends: Try Bridge Pose with a yoga block beneath the low back.
•Legs Up the Wall: Remember to keep your tailbone flush against the wall and your legs straight up.
•Supported Shoulder Stand: Place a blanket or towel under the shoulders, letting your neck dip off the edge.
•Forward Folds: Try Seated Forward Fold or Wide-Legged Forward Fold.
•Floor Twists: You can do these seated or lying on your back.
All of these poses send a calming wave through the nervous system and serve the body’s attempts to self-regulate.
After you complete your asanas, weave in one or both of the following cooling pranayama (breath work):
# Beat the Heat with Pranayamas :
Pranayamas such as Sheetali, Sheetkari and Chandrabhedi are helpful to cool off.
Sit comfortably, stick your tongue out and curl sides of the tongue upward towards the centre of the tongue
Breathe in through the mouth, hold the breath and slowly exhale through the nose
You can repeat this pranayama five to ten times
Benefits: Cools down the body and helps quench thirst.
With mouth open, clench your teeth and press the tongue against the teeth
Close your mouth and breathe out normally through the nostrils
You can repeat the pranayama five to ten times
Benefits:Like Sheetali, it cools down the body and helps quench thirst.
Close the right nostril with your right thumb
Exhale completely through the left nostril and then breathe in through the left nostril
Close the left nostril with little ring finger and exhale through the right
Repeat it five to ten times: inhaling from the left and exhaling from the right
Benefits: Has a cooling effect on the nervous system and on the nadis (subtle nerves).
After the pranayama, lie down in Shavasan/Corpse posture.
# Mind your mind
When the temperature soars, it is important to keep your mind relaxed. A stressed mind burdens the system. So instead of complaining about the weather, do some meditation and deep breathing, which will provide deep rest to the mind.
# To Yoga or not to Yoga
Any physical activity increases body temperature. That is why you shouldn’t do excessive asanas, when it is very hot. Early in the morning or late in the evening are the best times to do yoga asanas, during the summer.
# Summer Special: Here's a simple asana
Note:Those with high blood pressure and back problems should avoid this asana. An easier alternative to this asana is to pile up some pillows and rest your feet on the pillows.
Lie down in Shavasana near a wall, feet touching the wall. Raise your legs and rest your feet on the wall
After holding the posture for a minute or two, bring the legs down and rest in Shavasana
Benefits: Since the heart is pumping out more blood, when the temperature is high, this asana helps the heart by returning more blood back to the heart. (Here we use gravity, to bring blood back to heart).
# The plate that cools :
Avoid spicy food and reduce the intake of tea, coffee and sugar during summer
Also avoid fattening food, as it puts extra burden on the digestive system and heart
Consume larger quantities of fresh, juicy fruits, vegetables and yoghurts are cooling
Minimize the consumption of non-vegetarian food
Squeeze a little lemon/lime in water with a pinch of salt. When you sweat, the body loses a lot of salt
Note:A squeeze of lime can be cooling, but too much of it can aggravate the pitta
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