How did you celebrate International Day of Yoga? We had a fabulous Extended Practice (pictures above!) with Dianne, Teri, and I each offering some of our favorite things... a little Gentle yoga, a little Yin, and a little Yoga Nidra. A great way to ring in the Summer Solstice!
Yoga is about seeking balance. Our bodies are always seeking homeostasis ro find a relatively stable equilibrium (Google's words!). In our practice we encourage balance in our bodies with backbends and then forward folds to allow equal movement in the spine. We practice a slow warm-up to prepare for more active movement. We practice a relaxing Savasana at the end of every class to balance stretching and movement with stillness.
During the hot summer months seeking balance in our yoga practice often looks like practicing cooler types of yoga. Luckily, we have around 9 different types of yoga at Kula. A cooler yoga practice does the opposite of build heat and sweat in our bodies. It's usually slower and more meditative, creating a cooler effect in our bodies. Our Yin, Rest and restore, and Nidra (and sometimes Gentle) classes are all great examples of cool yoga practices.
Yin yoga is about relaxing in deeply held stretches while breathing and releasing tension. It can feel like a nice massage afterwards! Rest and restore is what we call our Restorative yoga and it's all about resting in comfortable poses with all the yoga props for long periods of time. Some people fall asleep and it's totally okay. Yoga Nidra, or Yogic Sleep, is a guided meditation where the body is lying still in Savasana with lots of props for comfort and the guide talks you through how to relax. Gentle yoga includes a little more movement, but it's still very slow and careful and depending on your level of yoga experience can be a cooling practice.
So this summer, as the days seem to get hotter and the raging sun seems to be relentless, seek opportunities to balance the heat with cooling practices on your yoga mat.
Be cool, love.