Look, we all know it’s summer and it’s hot.
Pitta power is at it’s highest, making us irritable and angry and manifesting physically as heatrash, acne, heartburn or headaches. Try some or all of these cooling restorative poses to pacify Pitta and bring you back to balance.
Don’t be afraid to use a soft eye pillow and a cooling fragrance like peppermint, eucalyptus, or chamomile on your temples or back of your neck. Make your practice more yin than yang, keeping your gaze soft and at the horizon and lengthening your exhale slightly.
If you’re into color therapy, wear blue clothing and visualize a blue color while centering. Absolutely make way for that ocean wave and babbling brook playlist you’ve been hoarding.
Simple Relaxation Pose with Elevated Legs
Anytime you elevate the lower body, even slightly, you reduce fluid retention in the legs and reduce strain on the heart. Use a bolster under the legs, or simply rest them on pillows, couch cushions, or an ottoman. Aim for support under the knees.
Supported Child’s Pose
Child’s pose gently stretches the back and spine and calms the nervous system. It earns a bonus for its gentle massage to the digestive tract. Make sure you turn your head halfway through your practice to stretch both sides of the neck.
Reclining Twist with Support
Another pose for restoring digestive health, start this pose on your right hip with knees to the left then switch to the opposite hip, following the movement of the intestines. Find the most comfortable position for your neck and make sure you stretch both sides.
Supported Reclined Bound Angle Pose
The mother lode of all restorative poses – this one opens the diaphragm, abdomen, chest and throat, reducing internal fire. Rest on a bolster, pillows or rolled up mat with the head end slightly elevated by whatever you have around the house.
Legs up the Wall
The most well-known of the poses, legs up the wall refreshes the lower body and spine and requires nothing more than you and a wall. You can put a small neck roll under your head, or try variations with wide legs or resting the soles of your feet on the wall. If you have stress in the backs of the legs, don’t be afraid to bend the knees or move away from the wall slightly.
Restorative poses relieve chronic stress, so at the very least, these poses will leave you feeling rested and refreshed. Practice one or all of these poses as a series in the late afternoon when heat is strongest so you don’t lose your yoga cool!