Yoga Poses to Stay Cool This Summer

PHOTO: Plank
Courtesy Heath Brockwell

As temperatures soar, even the most balanced among us could benefit from advice on how to stay cool this summer. Enter accomplished yogi Joann Burnham.

On July 11, Burnham will kick off the Third Annual Nantucket Yoga Festival. For those of us unable to take part in the "transformational weekend" in paradise, Burnham has put together a straightforward sequence designed to promote inner calm and visible strength.

The director of Dharma Yoga Nantucket promises that a sequence of just five simple poses can not only soothe frazzled nerves, but also tone winter-weary bodies.

"We're all juggling jobs and children and responsibilities and that really agitates the nervous system," Burnham explained. "But in the summer, that element of heat is an added irritant."

To combat the elemental aggravation, Burnham encourages practitioners to concentrate on lengthening their breathing. We feel cooler already.

PHOTO: Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Courtesy Heath Brockwell
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Stand with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart. Find all four corners of each foot evenly connected to the mat. Relax your face. Soften your eyes. Allow yourself the luxury of standing still and breathing for 30 seconds.

PHOTO: Uttanasana (Folded Forward Bend)
Courtesy Heath Brockwell
Uttanasana (Folded Forward Bend)

Inhale the arms up overhead, exhale fold forward. Take a slight bend in the knees and connect the chest to the thighs. Hold on behind the ankles with the hands. Connect to the breath. On each exhale create some space by walking the heart gently toward the toes. Stay here for 5 full breaths. Place the hands on either side of the feet and step back into downward-facing dog.

PHOTO: Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Courtesy Heath Brockwell
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward from your shoulders. Spread the fingers wide and feel the fingers connected to the mat. Keep the head between the upper arms. Without moving the hands or the press the seat and hips back. Stay here for 5 full breaths. Inhale and shift the torso forward into plank.

PHOTO: Plank
Courtesy Heath Brockwell

Press your outer arms inward and press your index fingers into the floor Press the shoulder blades down and back. Let the gaze float down. Reach back through the tailbone and the heels. Reach the belly button towards the spine. Stay here for 10 full breaths then press back into downward facing dog.

PHOTO: Vasisthasanan (Side Plank)
Courtesy Heath Brockwell
Vasisthasanan (Side Plank)

Shift all the weight forward come back into plank. Shift onto the outside edge of your left foot, and stack your right foot on top of the left. Lift the hips and open the heart raising the right arm to the sky. Find the body in one long line from the heels to the crown. Let the gaze float up. Stay here for 5 full breaths. Return to plank, roll over onto the opposite side of the body and repeat for 5 full breaths. Return to plank. Press back into downward-facing dog for 3 full breaths then press all the way back into Balasana (Child’s Pose). Rest here for 10 full breaths.

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