We all feel the heat on summer days, and it can leave us yogis wondering: is yoga good to do in the summer?
People around the world practice yoga in heated rooms and outdoors in hot climates, but if you have ever felt that yoga seemed much harder in the hotter months, then you are not alone.
In this article we will answer the question is yoga good to do in summer months, and help you navigate doing yoga during very hot days.
Daily Yoga Poses for a healthy body in Summer
Can yoga be done outdoors?
Yoga can most definitely be practiced outdoors, and yoga’s historical roots brings us to the outdoors. Many yoga practitioners around the world and in the U.S. prefer to practice outdoors as nature gives us a beautiful backdrop of sounds, vibrance, and attunement with God.
Outdoor yoga benefits
There are benefits to doing yoga outdoors:
- A sense of oneness with nature
- Natural sounds that are relaxing and meditative
- Warmth or coolness depending on the season
- Less distraction by electronics or household chores
- Simplifying a practice that we sometimes overcomplicate
How to practice safely in the summer season
Here are my tips for practicing in the heat of summer:
- Try to practice in the morning or evening when the sun is not at his highest and temperatures are not at their highest. Here are tips for starting a yoga morning routine even if you aren’t a morning person!
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – We must take in more water than we typically do in the summer months but especially if we are being physically active and physically active outside.
- Try to keep your head above your knees. We practice many inverted postures and when you are super-hot, this can cause dizziness, give a feeling of being woozy, and could cause you to pass out if you come out of it too quickly.
- Slow your practice down. This can be hard if you like upbeat classes but taking your time and being purposeful can be a lot of fun too and will keep you safe from overdoing it in the heat.
- Be patient with yourself. Heat makes us feel thick and heavy, know you may not be able to do the postures the same way as you do in a cooler climate.
- Don’t overstretch. Sometimes, when we are very warm, we feel over flexible. Be careful to pay close attention to your body.
- Take extra breaks. Sit on your shins, take a sip of water, pause, and take inventory. Sometimes we need a few breaths and that is okay!
Private Yoga Sessions
Summer is great time to try private sessions either in person or virtually with an instructor! Private instruction can allow more safety since the yoga teachers full attention is on you. They can cater your session directly to your needs and up the practice or slow it down if you find yourself feeling dizzy or overheated.
Outdoor yoga classes
Outdoor yoga classes can be a lot of fun, and a great way to leave the florescent lighting of the office and get that vitamin D. It can also be super energizing to be outdoors and around nature. I have had some of my most moving classes outdoors where I was able to connect more deeply with myself spiritually.
If you are nervous about outdoor classes and the heat, I highly suggest early morning outdoor yoga classes before the humidity of the day and direct sunlight really kick up the heat.
Outdoor yoga sequence
Seated side stretch
Cooling Yoga Poses for Pitta
Pitta yoga meaning
Pitta is a dosha in Ayurvedic medicine which is considered by some scholars to be the oldest healing science in the world, according to the Chopra Center.
In Ayurveda, there are three energies that everyone is made-up of, but each person has a different combination of the three.
Pitta dosha represents transformation and is usually aligned with heat and intensity. So, you may feel more pitta energy after a hot, summer yoga class.
What are the yoga doshas?
Pitta: represents fire and people with a tendency toward a pitta are strong, intense, and can be easily irritated. They are also sharped minded, competitive, and hard workers.
Vata: represents coolness and people with a tendency toward vata are energetic, creative, and anxious. They are also spontaneous, physically active, and don’t love routines.
Kapha: represents earth and water and this gives them a natural tendency to be stable, loyal, and compassionate. They are also methodical, love routine, and need less stimulation than other energies.
Cooling prayanyama or cooling yoga breath
Prayanyama means to regulate the breath through certain breathing techniques. It is a general focus of a yoga practice, no matter which type of yoga you are practicing.
We can also use our breath to cool ourselves from the inside out by breathing in a certain way and rhythm.
This is how to do cooling breath or Sitali Pranayama
- Sitali Pranayama can be exercised with wither a rolled tongue or pursed lips making an “O” shape”. Either is sufficient.
- Rest your tongue on the back of your bottom teeth.
- Suck in air through the rounded lips and/or tongue like you are sipping through a straw with vigor.
- Then send the air back out the rounded mouth.
- Repeat over and over.
You can breathe quickly or slowly depending on what you feel would suite you best. I prefer a quicker breath when I am hot, especially when I am exercising or being physical.
What is great about Sitali pranayama or cooling yoga breath is that you can do it anywhere. It doesn’t just have to be on a yoga mat!
Is yoga good for you in the Summer
Here is one last thing to consider. Yoga doesn’t just look like physical exercise. The asana or physical yoga is only one of eight limbs of yoga. There are many other ways that you can practice yoga without having to be so physical during the hot summer months.
My suggestion is try other aspects of yoga that great for your health and wellness! If you aren’t sure what those are, I am happy to help! Schedule a free call with me and I can help you learn how to create a wellness plan just right for you!
I also highly recommend mindfulness. It is a great way to practice yoga internally! Try my free workbook to get started!
Practicing yoga in the summer can be more physically draining and difficult, but you don’t have to give up your practice for months at time. Try making adjustment to ensure that you stay safe, and always listen in to your body!