At times it feels as though the heat and humidity of the summer will never to end, and with a solid few weeks still ahead of us until the first specks of autumn make a welcome appearance, could there be another way to cool down without resigning ourselves to air conditioned malls or downing calorific Frappuccinos?
Yogasphere founders Leo Lourdes and Mandy Jhamat insist that yoga will rescue Tokyo city kids from this suffocating summer, enabling us to enjoy what we really should at this time of year – the great outdoors. The yogis counted out five ways the practice will regulate your body temperature.
Yoga helps you sleep
There’s nothing worse than a night of tossing and turning in a heap of sweat, especially if the air con happens to be in another room (hands up if you live in a share house?!). Doing yoga in the evening will begin your body’s night time regime, and help you relax and unwind into a good night’s sleep. “Sleep is vital no matter what season, and in the summer especially we need to recover both emotionally and physically from all that comes with a heat wave. Yoga will guide you to a quality nights rest so that you wake up feeling cool and refreshed. Your immune system will be boosted and you’ll be ready to take on whatever the day throws at you and however strong the heat and humidity.” explains Leo.
Yoga reduces stress
It goes without saying that yoga is relaxing – the meditation aspect significantly reduces stress throughout the day, and this means a regulated temperature and heart rate. “Yin yoga is ideal during the sweaty season,” explains Mandy. “This is a long meditative practice which slowly resets your body and thus helps it maintain it’s cool all the day. It is important that our bodies adapt and find coping mechanisms in times of extreme heat – yoga helps achieve this.”
Yoga helps you breathe
There are a number of breathing techniques from the practice of yoga which can be used during the scorching day to help you lower those internal temperatures. One such exercise is Chandrabhedi breathing. “This has a lovely cooling effect on our nervous system. Take deep breaths with one thumb on the right nostril, then one on the left, and repeat. It sounds simple but shut your eyes and you’ll really feel the cooling sensation right up to your brain, no matter where you are or how hot the air is,” Leo reveals.
Yoga cools your limbs
There’s a reason why the stretching parts after intense gym work outs are called “cool down” sessions, they are more than just for injury purposes because stretching actually soothes and cools your muscles. “Yoga is a giant stretch and apart from heavier power yoga styles, the practice is relaxing and blissful, helping to reduce tension and leave you feeling calm, cool and collected. The Cobra for example, lengthens your body and draws out the heat, so you’ll find that temperatures are lowering even during practice” adds Leo.
Yoga can heat you up to cool you down
“Some of our clients insist on doing hot yoga in the summer and there are definitely pros to it.” suggests Mandy, “The higher temperatures in class quickly loosen our muscles and the practice itself of course is fantastic for toning. I find that after a hot yoga session, I walk out of the studio and the temperature outside feels significantly cooler in comparison. It’s obviously important to keep extremely hydrated after a hot yoga session in the summer, but otherwise it is completely possible to find the cooling effects of it afterwards. Fight heat with heat!”
Leo and Mandy are yoga experts and founders of Yogasphere, www.yogasphere.eu