Our Top 8 Tips for a Summer Yoga Practice
Life exists in a very definitive pattern. It starts with birth then life, death and then eternal;. The seasons follow this same pattern. Spring is the season of birth, Summer the season of life, fall the season of death and Winter the season of eternal (especially if you live in Upstate New York 😉 haha). One of the things that I find very interesting about this (coincidence or maybe divine intervention?) is that the Summer Solstice is celebrated on the same day as International Yoga Day! The practice that gives us so much life is recognized at the start of the season of life! So how do you keep your practice alive in the heat of summer? Check out Our Top 8 Tips for a Summer Yoga Practice!
This is SO important! It is suggested that we drink 50% of our body weight in ounces everyday. For example if you weight 140 lbs you divide that number in half, that would be 70 and that's how many ounces of water you should drink each day. Some surveys in the US have suggested that more than 75% of adults do not drink enough water! So as the summer sun hits you and you heat up your yoga practice make sure you are nourishing your body with enough H20. Not only is this important for your physical body but it also supports energy movement!
2. Dress Light. Travel Light. Spread the Light.
So the quote is really Pack light, travel light, spread the light but here we are talking strictly about yoga attire in the summer time. It is HOT outside and chances are the studio is hot too, especially if you are taking the fan favorite Vinyasa class. So you have brought your favorite water bottle to class to keep cool but make sure you sport your super favorite capris and tank to keep you cool inside and out! Heated practices have SO many benefits like flexibility, detoxification, etc but don't ruin your practice with too much of a good thing! (Bonus Tip: Full Lotus Yoga will soon be selling some super cute yoga tanks with our logo on them, make sure you stop into the studio in the next couple weeks to grab yours before they are gone!)
3. Take Your Practice Outdoors
If you live in Upstate New York you are well aware that nice weather only comes for a short period of time each year. You don't want to miss out by being stuck inside but you don't want to miss out on your practice either so find balance by taking your practice outside! Soak up some sun, breathe in the fresh air and let nature remind you of your true essence. Make sure if you are practicing outside you protect yourself from natures elements by using bug spray and sunscreen! Check out this link to see our favorite natural alternatives! Bug Spray and Sunscreen.This bug spray is technically from the home but it is both pet safe and people safe when used according to directions, as a bonus it is from a company right here in Central New York! The Sunscreen is also naturally based, the lotion comes in a spray bottle for easy application but not an aerosol can so you don't have to worry about polluting yourself or the earth!
4. Invest in a Yoga Towel
Traditionally yoga towels are used in hot yoga classes but in the summertime basically every class is a hot yoga class. By investing in a yoga towel you will make sure that you don't slip in your practice, keeping you grounded in both body and mind! We recommend choosing one of these products from Gaiam. Gaiam is a great brand because they don't use the same toxic chemicals that other companies use in their products that absorb into your skin during your practice (did you know that chemicals absorbed in your feet enter into your bloodstream? Gross.) Also most Gaiam products have a lifetime guarantee! (Not gross!) Bonus tip! If you are interested in purchasing anything through Gaiam we get an awesome studio discount! Place an order with us by email or phone between now and Saturday July 6th and receive 25% OFF your order plus shipping is on us!
5. Practice Pranayama
Pranayama translates from Sanskrit to mean breath control. Prana meaning vital life force energy and yama meaning restraint. There are a ton of breathing techniques in yoga that can benefit you in SO many different ways: relaxation, heat, relief from asthma/depression/anxiety, improved sleep and in this case cooling! You can cool the body using breath by simply allowing the exhalation to be released from the mouth instead of the nose, this helps release some excess energy/heat. If you want to take it a step further you can practice cooling breath called Sheetali or Sitali Pranyama. In Sanskrit these words come from the root word "sheet" which translates to mean "cold" or "frigid". This breathing technique cools the body by adding moisture to the system,. it is practiced by curling the sides of your tongue and breathing in through your mouth (in kids yoga we call this taco breath because you're creating a taco with your tongue!)
6. Be Selective With Your Practice
As we talked about above heat in yoga is super beneficial but if it's too hot (even when you've taken all the proper precautions) be selective with your yoga practice. The idea of yoga is to honor your body by doing what best serves it not by harming it. So if you still want to benefit from the practice in the heat just be selective! Instead of Sun Salutations in your practice try adding some Moon Salutations! Swap your head stand for legs up the wall (still all the benefits of inversions without the added stress to your body). Practice more forward folds because they are cooling postures! Try a restorative class, not only is it great for your body but the stillness helps bring balance and harmony back to our mind, heart and spirit.
7. Use Essential Oils
You can create an OMazing cooling/hydrating mist using some of your favorite essential oils. Some of my favorite choices are lavender, peppermint and rose! You can DIY your own with your favorite oils or you can find one online. Remember to use caution when applying oils to your skin especially if you are practicing outside in the sun! Citrus oils can cause your skin to burn so make sure you are using safe practices when incorporating essential oils. Bonus tip: when you come to the studio for class there is a spray in the equipment closet called "Cool Hottie by Aura Cacia" that you can use to cool off before or after your practice!
8. Keep Up Your Practice
This might be one of the most important tips! It is so easy to fall out of your practice when you're going to the beach, hosting a BBQ, watching fireworks, splashing in the pool and planning a vacation but starting back up in the fall is much easier if you maintain your practice all summer long! BONUS TIPS! Make maintaining your practice easy by investing in a HOT summer package, discounts of over $40 makes practicing yoga all summer long a breeze! View Package (Only available until 4th of July!) Bonus Tip #2 try some fun and exciting yoga events this summer to keep yourself looking forward to your practice! Goat Yoga, New Moon Classes and more! Bonus Tip #3 combine summer activities like vacation and yoga! Check out our first ever retreat happening THIS MONTH! (only 4 spaces left!)
What are your favorite summer yoga tips? Let us know in the comments below! We are looking forward to an AMAZING summer with all of our yogi family!
With love and light,
The Full Lotus Team