A friend sent me a wonderful article about staying cool in the summer time. This is not only common sense, but is part of traditional medicines called Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Read the article about Ayurvedic principles by clicking here.
I asked my naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist, Steve Capps*, what we needed to know about heat and why we should practice in a more cooling manner in the summer. Below is his response:
Too much heat in the body is associated with mental/emotional irritability, anger, heart attack, stroke, palpitations, anxiety disorder, bipolar behavior, manic behavior, reflux, headaches and many other unwanted conditions. Which one of these things happens to a person depends on his or her vulnerability and predisposition. People that have the above heat related symptoms may want to avoid the excess heat that can come with being in the sun too long, or being over active in the high summer heat. They may need to avoid heat related activities such as steam room, sauna, hot baths and even hot Yoga. Also foods that cause heat in the body such as sugar, dairy and too many carbs and fat should be considered when there are heat related symptoms. There are two kinds of heat that invade the body they are external heat that comes from the environment and internal heat that can come from emotional reasons or from incorrect diet. Sometimes people are born with a vulnerability for heat. To help with heat consider all the factors above and make sure they are in moderation.
We came up with a list of poses designed to cool your system from the inside out. This practice should be done in a room with an average temperature. Building more heat in your system during an already fiery time is not advisable. You can do these in order or pick your favorites, simply be sure you have warmed up gently so you can be safe in your practice.
- wide-legged forward fold
- wide-legged forward fold with a twist (you can reach toward one foot then the other, or use a block for the bottom hand and twist)
- runner’s lunge with back knee down
- runner’s lunge with back knee down, prayer twist across the front thigh
- bridge with a block under the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of your spine)
- gentle reclining twist
- all seated forward folds
- child’s pose
- seated meditation
*Steve Capps completed his Masters in Classical Chinese medicine at the Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine, is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and is a licensed Acupuncturist in Charlotte, NC. He has been in practice for over 20 years and is a wealth of information. We hope you enjoy learning from him as much as we have. His next post will be on other ways to reduce heat in your body.