Working out in the summer can get difficult, especially if you want to do it outdoors or without air conditioning. Yoga can help you stay cool while toning your muscles and benefiting from the full relaxing effect of this ancient fitness practice.
Check out some of the best summer yoga poses, that will give you the workout you want without increasing your body temperature too much, and find out which yoga poses are a bad fit for the warmer months.
Moon Salutations (Chandra Namaskar)
Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) might seem like a good fit for summer, but they’ll actually increase your temperature. Instead, try Moon Salutations during hot weather, in order to achieve a cooling effect. There are many combinations of Moon Salutations, but the most important things to remember are to inhale while extending and exhale while bending.
Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana)
If you transition from the Seated Staff Pose (Dandasana), you’ll be sitting on the floor with your back upright and your legs extended. Fold your left, so your right ankle rests on your left kneecap and your left ankle underneath your right knee. If you’re not a beginner, you can extend the pose by bending your torso over your legs.
Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
One of the best summer yoga poses, the lizard can help you stretch while still staying cool. Start in the Downward Facing Dog pose, then take your right foot and extend it as close to your right hand as possible. Your right thigh should be parallel to the floor, while your right knee should be close to your right shoulder. Keep the position for up to 20 breaths before going back to the original pose.
Hero Pose (Virasana)
Definitely one of the best summer yoga poses, Virasana begins when you’re on all fours. Lower your bottom until it fits snugly between your heels. Raise your hips and rolls your shoulders back. Reach for your calf muscles and with your hands on them, gently move them towards your heels.
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Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Start by lying on your stomach and grab your ankles with your hands, after bending your knees. Lift your chest off the ground as you inhale and pull your legs up with your hands, while also raising your head. Keep the position for around 20 seconds or 8 exhales before relaxing.
Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)
In the Side Plank Pose, one of the best summer yoga poses, you’ll be able to extend and relax while also staying cool. Start from the Plank Pose (the same position used for pushups), then use your right hand and foot to support yourself and extend your left hand upwards. Take 5 breaths before returning to the original position and switching sides.
Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
The Full Boat Pose is excellent for summer, and it will help you tone your core muscles, along with your arms and legs. Sit on the floor with your legs straight, then gently bend your knees, raise your legs and try to straighten them at a 45 degree angle from the floor. Move your arms from your hips along with your legs until they’re parallel to the floor and hold for up to 20 seconds.
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Balancing Table Top Pose
Another easy pose that will help you stretch without raising your body temperature too much, the Balancing Table Top starts on all fours, with your knees under your hips and your hands right under your shoulders. Start by extending your left arm forward, parallel to the floor, while also raising your right leg to make a straight line. Take around 8 breaths, then return and switch sides for one of the best summer yoga poses.
Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Start by lying on your stomach, with your hands next to your midriff and your fingers spread out. Push in your hands to raise yourself, while rolling your shoulders backwards and keeping just your toes and hands in contact with the mat. Inhale as you raise yourself.
Worst Summer Yoga Poses
Once you’re acquainted with the best summer yoga poses, you also need to know which ones will make your body temperature rise quickly. Headstands and Sun Salutations are among the worst options for summer, but if you do want to include them in your daily routine, go for early morning workouts, when the temperatures are lower.