Summer is here… and it’s getting hot! We love the longer days, holidays, the beach, picnics, swimming outdoors, ice cream and going out more, but sometimes the heat can beat us. Too much heat and we feel tired, unmotivated, and even a bit grumpy…

See below a list of a few things you can do to beat the heat:

  • Avoid going out in the midday hours. But definitely enjoy the sun’s nourishing power. The rays of the morning and evening sun are particularly nourishing, so enjoy the pleasant warmth and fresher air. These are the perfect times of day for Pranayama, stretching and enjoying a walk, which don’t only promote mental and physical health but also strengthen the immune system.
  • Wear light and breathable materials… think thin cotton and linen. In the West we tend to wear as little as possible; things like tight tank tops, shorts, vests, or even bikinis in the streets! But in other countries you protect your skin from the heat and sun with fabric, using loose clothes made of light-coloured material.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated… but avoid caffeine, sugary drinks and… ICE. Yes, yes, I know, we are all craving a cold drink… but that is not great for your digestive system. Instead of ice, ice, baby… think of adding cooling cucumber, mint, lemon or cold fruits to your water.
  • Talking about fruits… eat plenty of those!! Think of a nice refreshing watermelon… hmmm
  • And talking about eating… Skip heavy meals that can contribute to making you feel sluggish. Eat in moderation and opt for fresh foods like salads and vegetables.
  • Do not overdo it with exercise. You don’t have to stop exercising, of course, but maybe switch to activities like swimming and if you go out running… see the first point: Go really early or late at night…  AND do more restorative and cooling practices, like Yin Yoga.
  • If you are practising yoga, the best asanas are those that are calming and not overly heating, such as side-bends, twists, and wide-legged standing and seated poses. Holding seated or supine poses without strain for several minutes is also beneficial. Sooooo… Yin Yoga is perfect for that. And don’t forget a long Savasana focusing on long exhalations to calm the nervous system

What is Yin Yoga?

I mentioned Yin Yoga a couple of times and perhaps you are not too familiar with it. Or perhaps you have an idea of what yoga is and think all yoga is the same. 

As opposed to other styles of yoga, like Vinyasa or Hatha, that create heat and strength through repetitive and sometimes energetic movements… Yin yoga actually cools our body and allows for length and space.

In contrast to dynamic styles where poses are held only for a few breaths and we constantly move in and out, in yin we hold most poses for much longer times, between 3 and 10 minutes.

Usually, these longer-held poses are seated or lying down and we encourage the practitioner to relax the muscles so we can affect the deeper and harder tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons, fascia, bones).

Balasana pose, or in Yin called Turtle pose

A regular yin yoga practice will help you improve your range of motion and flexibility, it will boost circulation and reduce inflammation and tension in the body.

By doing Yin Yoga, we allow ourselves to slow down, relax and turn inward so the benefits aren’t only on the physical body but also mental and energetic. It will restore your energy levels and balance your mind and emotions. 

Going back to the theme of ‘how to beat the heat’.

HEAT is not only an effect of summer temperatures, there are many reasons why we may feel ‘heated’, from hormonal changes to emotional issues… Think about how emotions like anger, frustration or stress can raise your internal temperature.

Learning to balance our emotions, and learning to be less reactive, will also keep us ‘cool’. It’s not a coincidence that we talk about people being ‘cool’ when someone is calm and collected.

So, at number 8, here’s one more thing to do to beat the heat:

  • Practices like Yin Yoga, Pranayama (breathing) and certain types of meditation, like ‘metta’ or loving-kindness can help us calm our overheated nervous system and emotions, keeping us ‘cool’ as a cucumber!

Montse seating in sukasana

Montse’s background

Montse has been working for the last 30 years in the world of theatre and performance as a director and mentor. Her passion for sharing her knowledge and her desire to help others realise their true potential has led her onto the path of yoga teaching.

Her classes are relaxed, friendly and with elements of yin, hatha, vinyasa and large doses of humour where everyone feels welcome, regardless of their skill. 

She has been a yoga practitioner since the late 90s; forever a student, she’s undertaken several Yoga Teacher’s trainings, including two in India and a 200hr Yin Yoga Therapy training. 

Montse often emphasises the individuality of each body, inviting the practitioner to experience for themselves the different variations on offer. 

Whether doing a Vinyasa class or a Yin class you’ll experience deeper levels of relaxation, as well as challenge.

If you’d like to try a Yin Yoga class online,

choose any two from the Soyoga Library of Videos for Free.