This most recent heat wave got me thinking about other ways to keep cool, other than retreating to the AC. One of my favorite ways is something my grandma taught me when I was very little: running your wrists under cold water. Since your blood flows so close to the surface right there, you can cool off very quickly. Or grab an ice cube and hold it there while it melts...soooo refreshing!
Another way is to cool off, is with some cooling yoga poses. What, you don't think of cooling when you think of yoga? Think again, these are some cool (punny?) moves for beating the heat.
down dog is great. In fact, all inversions (poses where your head is below your heart) that have some support are nice and cooling. It takes the pressure off your heart and circulatory system, allowing the blood to come back up to your heart more easily, and thus produces a cooling effect. If holding down dog is not easy for you, you can simply do it on the wall, placing your hands at a 90 degree angle and letting your head and torso hang. See here for a how-to).
up to 35% of people cannot), then just open your mouth into an O shape. Now breathe in and out through your mouth, letting your breath pass over your tongue. A lot of heat comes from the tongue and mouth area; why do you think we take our temperature there (in the olden days at least. Have you seen those new forehead thermometers?!)? Stay cool, yogis.
p.s. Don't forget, Yoga Journal's 28 day Meditation Revolution starts today. Join me in challenging yourself to start or deepen your practice!