Summer has arrived! And summer in Philly can be particularly 'special'. For those who thrive in sticky, hot weather it's a treat! For those who don't it can be a struggle..
But don't fret....like with almost everything in Life, Yoga can help. Here are a few quick, easy practices for everyone....no yoga experience necessary.
How To: Lie on your back with your butt as close to the wall (or headboard) as you can. Extend your legs up the wall so your feet are parallel to the ceiling. Stay that way upwards of 3 minutes. Notice a deep sense of 'ease' come to the body.
Benefits: Viparita Karani evokes the Parasympathetic Nervous Response; a physiological response which reduces agitation in the body and mind. The heart rate lowers, vasodilation occurs improving circulation & and respiration slows and becomes more efficient.
This Practice Takes the Edge Off
Left Nostril Breathing
How To: Seal your right nostril with your right thumb and breath only through your left nostril. You can use a 4 count to inhale and exhale - this helps keep the mental focus on the breath, thereby quieting the mind a bit.
Benefits: We all have 3 dominant energy channels in our bodies which branch out to approximately 10,000 smaller lines or 'Nadi's"; you can think of this system like 3 main subway lines that extend out to regional rail & bus routes throughout our bodies.
The left nostril is the beginning and end of one of these main subway lines called Ida Nadi. It governs our ability to cool ourselves (among many other things). When we consciously breath through this nostril Prana gets carried through this channel , cooling & quieting the body. ... Sidenote- this Nadi also is responsible for our ability to "rest and digest" - so be sure the left nostril is open at night when you want to fall asleep as well as after you eat to improve digestion
How To: Sit and breathe through your nose- be sure to soften the low jaw and unfurrow your brow. Create a rhythm where you are exhaling and inhaling for 4 counts each. After a few rounds begin making your exhale 2 counts longer than your inhale or a 2:1 ratio. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes. Continue until the timer goes off. Benefits: When your exhale is even a few counts longer than your inhale, the vagus nerve (running from the neck down through the diaphragm) sends a signal to your brain to turn up your parasympathetic nervous system and turn down your sympathetic nervous system; thus reducing stress. Your body is put into a state of calming and healing.