With spontaneous changes in climate globally, summer sun has already reached various parts of India starting February itself. Atmosphere is less cool even during night and early morning. Profuse sweating, fatigue, skin irritations, eye diseases, sunburns, fevers, different types of air and water-borne illnesses, etc are coming along with increased heat in the atmosphere. Rise in temperature affects brain functions too and one may feel stressed easily during summertime. Other than AC, cooler, fan, having ice-cold fluids and foods, let us see how Yoga can help us manage different summertime woes.
Three simple pranayamas, which instantly cools the body;
Sit in a comfortable position with palms on the knees. Close your eyes. Put your tongue out and roll the tongue from sides to forms a narrow tube. Breathe in through this narrow tube and pull the tongue in and close the mouth. Breathe out through both nostrils. You can do 10 counts or as much as you feel comfortable. This pranayama cools and soothes body and mind, quenches thirst, good for hypertension, and a very good cure for dry mouth and mouth ulcers. Avoid this pranayama if you have cold or chest infection.
Sit in a comfortable position with palms on the knees. Close your eyes. Open your lips and join the upper and lower rows of teeth. Then, through the little space between your tooth, breathe in air with a hissing sound “ssss.” Close your lips and breathe out through nose. You can do 10 counts or as much as you feel comfortable. This pranayama has its benefits similar to Sheethali pranayama and is easier for those who could not roll their tongue as in Sheethali pranayama. Avoid this pranayama if you have cold or chest infection.
Sit in a comfortable position with palms on the knees. Close your eyes. Make your right hand in Vishnu mudra by folding the index and middle fingers and touching them at the base of thumb while thumb, ring finger and small finger remain straight. Let the left palm rest on your knees. Close your right nostril with thumb of right hand. Breathe in through left nostril. Close the left nostril with the ring finger and breathe out through right nostril. This is one round of Chandrabhethi. You can do 10 counts or as much as you feel comfortable. This pranayama cures heartburn, cools body, calms mind, removes fatigue and lethargy and also good for hypertension. Avoid this pranayama if you have cold or chest infection.
Other natural methods to face summer heat are:
1. Drink plenty of fluids.
2. Use natural cooling herbs like vetiver (Khus), coriander leaves, coriander seeds, sandalwood, aloe vera, turmeric, mint leaves, fennel seeds, and asparagus in diet and skin applications.
3. Use gulkand made from rose petals kept in sugar, as itself or with a glass of milk at mid-day and before bedtime.
4. Drink buttermilk with lots of water and crushed curry leaves, ginger, mint leaves, coriander leaves, and salt.
5. Drink thandai made from boiled and cooled milk mixed with crushed fennel seeds, almond/melon seeds, black pepper, poppy seeds (khus-khus), saffron strands, cardomom, and enough sugar.
6. Use cooling and alkaline fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, musk melon, apple in more quantities while reduce acidic fruits like lemon, oranges, pineapple, tomatoes, etc.
7. Wear light weight light colored and comfortable fitting cotton clothes. White, light green, baby pink, blue, yellow, orange, etc are cool summer colors.
8. Reduce the intake of spicy foods and caffiene, and if one can avoid them completely during summer, it is best to reduce body heat.
9. Put few drops of peppermint essential oil in bathwater and bathing twice daily is good.
10. Use natural moisturizing products on skin.