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10 Yoga Poses To Stay Cool During Hot Days

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

Use breathing techniques, calming yoga poses and supported postures to cool off during the heat of summer, after a workout or before bed.

When the weather is unbearably hot and it feels stickier than molasses outside, I find myself conflicted over wanting to move my body and not wanting to break a sweat (even with every fan in the room blowing on me). Warmer temperatures can lead to excess sweating, dehydration and sluggishness, but yoga can help calm the nervous system and cool down the body.

In Ayurveda, the pitta dosha regulates your energy, heat and metabolism, but the balance can be thrown off as the thermostat inches upward. Practicing cooling breaths, forward bends and supported postures at a slower pace can reduce anxiety and lower your core body temperature.

Try these 10 gentle yoga poses during hot days, after a workout or before bed to chill out (literally). Make sure you are cleared by a doctor before exercising.

You can read more about the types of postures in the video below.

1. Cooling Breath (Sitali Pranayama)

This breathing technique has an immediate cooling effect as the air is inhaled through the tongue.

  • Sit in a comfortable cross legged position

  • Open your mouth, slide your tongue out and curl it. Take an inhale

  • Slide your tongue back in, close your mouth. Exhale out of our nose

2. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

  • Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width distance apart (you can have your knees closer together for more rounding of the spine or farther apart for a deeper hip stretch)

  • Touch your big toes together

  • Sit your hips back toward your heels

  • Reach your arms forward

  • Rest your forehead on the mat or a block

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

3. Puppy Pose/Melting Heart Pose (Anahatasana)

  • Begin on all fours in a table top position (bharmanasana) with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees

  • Walk your arms forward and let your heart melt toward the mat

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

4. Downward Facing Dog With Lion’s Breath (Adho Mukha Svanasana with Simhasana Pranayama)

In poses that require more effort, lion’s breath can help release heat through a powerful exhale.

  • From table top (bharmanasana), spread your fingers wide, making an “L shape” with your thumb and index finger

  • Walk your feet back a few inches and tuck your toes

  • Lift your hips toward the ceiling

  • Lengthen your spine and release tension in your neck

  • As you exhale, open your mouth, stick out your tongue and make a “ha” sound

  • Stay in the pose for 2-5 rounds of lion’s breath

5. Half Splits (Ardha Hanumanasana)

Using blocks for this pose will make it more relaxing to help calm the nervous system.

  • From a low lunge position (anjaneyasana), place your finger tips on blocks or on the mat framing your foot

  • You can rest your back knee on a blanket for padding

  • Shift your weight back and begin straightening your front leg

  • Flex your front foot and point your toes toward the ceiling

  • Hinge forward from your hip to deepen the stretch

  • Align your neck with the rest of your spine

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

  • Re-bend your front knee returning to a low lunge position (anjaneyasana)

  • Switch legs and repeat on the other side

6. Wide Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

  • Stand with your feet wide on the mat

  • Turn your toes slightly inward

  • Hinge from your hips and fold forward

  • Relax your shoulders and neck

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

7. Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)

  • Take a seat

  • Extend your right leg

  • Bring your left foot to the inside of your right thigh

  • Ground your sitting bones down

  • Turn your torso toward your right leg

  • Reach your arms up over your head

  • Begin to hinge from your hips to fold forward

  • Only fold as deep as you can maintain a long spine. Your hands can rest on either side of your leg

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

  • Repeat on the other side

8. Supported Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Using blocks for this pose will make it more relaxing to help calm the nervous system.

  • Place a block horizontally on your mat for your head to rest on

  • Place another block a few inches below vertically on your mat for your upper back to rest on. Place the bottoms of your shoulder blades on the lower edge of your block

  • Lengthen your legs to the front of the room

  • Reach your arms to the sides for a deeper shoulder stretch

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

9. Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Using blocks for this pose will make it more relaxing to help calm the nervous system.

  • Lay on your back, touch the soles of your feet together and open your knees to the sides

  • Place a block underneath each knee

  • You can place one hand on your heart and your other hand on your belly to provide a calming sensation

  • Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths

10. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

  • Lay on your back

  • Let your feet open to the sides

  • Rest your arms on the ground with your palms facing up

  • Allow your gaze to relax. You can close your eyes if that feels comfortable

  • Release any tension in your muscles

  • Allow your breath to flow in and out naturally

  • Stay in the pose for as long as you like (recommended 10-15 minutes)

I hope these poses help you feel relaxed and refreshed. Remember to hydrate and return to these breathing techniques throughout the day to cool down. If you have questions, would like to learn more about these techniques or want to practice with me individually, send me a message on the contact form on the home page. I look forward to hearing from you!

With gratitude,


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