So it took a longer time than usual coming this year, but I think we all agree that we have now entered ‘the oven’ for approximately six weeks. Tempers are high, patience is low (as indicated by the number of car horns you hear just going to the shops!) and the island is at it’s most crazy… so how do we keep calm and carry on?
There are more solutions and ways to stay cool than switching on the air con or enjoying a delicious icy beverage. Pranayama and meditation are known to help you stay cool when outdoors and hydrated round the clock.
So breathe yourself cool! Try each technique for a few minutes and see how you feel.
1. Chandrabedhan pranayam: Sit in any meditative posture on the floor keeping your back straight and shoulders relaxed. You can sit against the wall if that is more comfortable for you. With your right thumb, close the right nostril and breathe in from the left nostril. Next, close the left nostril with your right index and middle finger, and breathe out from the right nostril. Repeat for a few minutes – slowing the elongating the breaths.
Benefit: Heat makes us fly off the handle easily. Chandrabedhan pranayam has a cooling effect on the nervous system and on the nadis (energy pathways). This pranayam reduces body heat, high blood pressure and has a calming effect on the mind. It also induces muscular relaxation and promotes emotional well-being.
2. Sheetkari pranayam: Sit in a comfortable posture on the floor; keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, hands on your knees and close your eyes. Now put your lower and upper teeth together and put your tongue between the gap of the teeth. Then, separate your lips while baring your teeth; breathe in from your mouth and exhale through your nose.
Benefit: Those who live very stressful lives and experience tiredness or lethargy must practise this form of pranayama. It helps reduce anger, anxiety and stress. It is also beneficial to the skin! A lovely bonus!
3. Sheetali pranayam: Sit in any meditative or a comfortable position. Close your eyes and breathe normally. Put your tongue on the lower lip, then roll your tongue and inhale deeply from your mouth. Now, slowly close your mouth and exhale through your nose.
Benefit: The sheetali pranayam helps cool down your body. It has a great energising, soothing, relaxing and cooling effect on all the nerve channels and the entire body. This asana purifies the blood and expels toxins. It also helps cool you down if you’re angry or in a bad mood.
4. Savasana: Lie down on your back with arms on your side. Now slowly move your legs apart, letting your feet flop open. Keep your hands away from the body, palms facing upwards. Close your eyes, loosen and relax all the muscles in the body starting from the head and working down. Breathe normally. Stay here for 10 minutes – it is said that 10 minutes of savasana equates to two hours of sleep!
Benefit: Savasana helps combat mental and physical fatigue. It also relaxes the nerve network and improves breathing.