Cool Down: Yoga Breathing to Cope with Hot Weather

Condensation on a bottle of water

How to Use Yoga to Cool Down

Summer is lovely. 

But sometimes it just gets a bit too much, the heat, especially when commuting, is intense and it can fray even them calmest of tempers.

As I write this blog the temperature outside is soaring to over 30˚c and it feels like stepping into an oven if I go out the back door. It was even hot at 4:30am! We are not used to this in the UK…

Use your breath to cool down right now

The following two breathing techniques are the perfect antidote to the heat, so very useful for a sweaty commute or pre-bed chill-out. Sitali also lowers high blood pressure too, so a good stress buster and Sitkari helps boost vitality.

You can use these cooling breaths, along with drinking plenty of water, throughout the day to keep your body temperature more stable and to feel more comfortable.

Only when it is warm…

A note though – these are only to be practised in warm environments. Because you are drawing the cooled breath straight into the lungs they should only be practiced when it is hot. Also, if you have particularly bad asthma or breathing problems, it’s best you don’t do these techniques.

Sitali breath requires you to be able to curl your tongue, which not everyone can. So if that’s you, skip straight to Sitkari Breath instead. If you can do both, great!

Sitali Breath (The Cooling Breath)

  • Sit comfortably and make sure your spine is nice and straight
  • Focus on your breath, using the diaphragm to control the breath, breathing in and out of the nose do this for a couple of minutes, or longer if you can (Deep Abdominal Breath)
  • Open your mouth and form an O with your lips
  • Curl your tongue and stick it out of your mouth
  • Draw your breath deeply across your curled tongue and into your mouth, rather like breathing through a straw
  • Feel the cool breath passing through the body, into the lungs and abdomen
  • Bring the tongue back in to breathe out, and exhale through your nostrils
  • Continue breathing in over the curled tongue, and out through the nostrils for a couple of minutes
  • The return to the Deep Abdominal Breath for a little while

Sitkari Breath 

  • Sit comfortably and make sure your spine is nice and straight and focus on your breath
  • Press your lower and upper teeth together gently, separating your lips as much as you can without straining. Your teeth should now be exposed to the air
  • Draw your breath in through the gaps in your teeth
  • You should hear a hissing sound as you inhale, focus on this
  • Close your mouth to breathe out and exhale through your nostrils
  • Repeat up to 20 times

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