The hot Summer months provide a perfect opportunity to mix up your Yoga regime by adding some long and slow restorative stretches or classes. Your body will respond well to postures that are closer to the ground, as the earth provides coolness whilst you feel grounded.
Our muscles become more open and flexible in the heat, so we can benefit from remaining in postures for longer. This allows us to feel the body opening up and go into the deeper level of your muscles. The longer you hold a stretch for, the deeper it goes into the cellular level of the body or muscle mind memory. If you’re doing your own practice, try holding postures (lying down or seated) for 20-25 breaths.
Throughout the Christmas / New Year period we tend to over-indulge, which is often accompanied by associated guilt. It’s a good time to introduce or practice some more deep breathing and mantra meditation. Nadi Shodhan (a form of Pranayama breathing) helps to quiet your mind and stabilize mood.
Try the following technique (please note: swap hand positions, if you are left-handed):
- Sit in a comfortable position either a cross-legged on the ground or on a chair.
- Relax your shoulders and ensure your spine is straight and your chest is open.
- Rest your left hand on your lap / knee with the palm facing upwards.
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb, whilst resting your pointer and middle fingers on your forehead (between your eyebrows).
- Inhale through your left nostril… breathing in slowly but steadily through your nose and ensure your inhales and exhales are consistent. Try counting to 4 or 5 as you inhale.
- Close your left nostril using your right ring finger and release your right nostril.
- Exhale through your right nostril and pause for a moment and then inhale through your right nostril without moving your hand position, same counting as the previous nostril.
- Switch back to the right nostril and complete a full exhale through your left nostril… successfully completing one cycle of Pranayama.
- Repeat 3-5 cycles before returning to regular breathing.
With love & Light – Namaste
Gaia’s Head Yoga Teacher
P.S.: Danielle is available for One on One private personalised Yoga and Pranayama sessions (see here – www.gaiaretreat.com.au/day-spa/one-on-one) as well as specific Yoga or Mindfulness Focus retreat package upgrades. Find out more – www.gaiaretreat.com.au/retreat-packages/focus-add-ons
The above content is for informational and educational purposes only and not intended to treat, relieve or cure any fitness or health conditions, nor guarantee any particular outcome or results. Always speak with your doctor or other healthcare professional before adopting any new wellness regimes. Never disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider, due to something you have read on our website.