Feeling hot and bothered? You’re not alone. We are all currently melting like popsicles in the heat, and apart from running up our power bills blasting the aircon, we found a possible cheaper (read free) method to stay calm and cool in this horrible weather.
Apparently these yoga breathing exercises can not just help calm you down mentally, they can also help naturally decrease your body temperature so you feel cooler too.
According to a study published by the scientists from the National University of Singapore in the journal PLOS ONE, it is possible for core body temperature to be controlled by the brain.
While not much scientific evidence is available on cooling the body , yogis have long believed there are significant cooling benefits of certain types of breathwork, and since it won’t actually cost us a cent to try, we are going to give these exercises a go, as soon as the air conditioner cools the room down sufficiently.
Alternate Nostril Cooling Breaths
In a seated comfortable position, seal your right nostril shut with your right thumb. Breathe in through your left nostril for four counts. At the top of the inhale, take your thumb off the right nostril and close the left nostril with your right ring finger—breathe out of the right nostril for four counts. Repeat for 5 to 10 cycles.
In yoga, the left channel is the yin, or cool energy, and the right channel is yang or warm energy. In this breath pattern, you are increasing cool energy and decreasing heat. In Ayurvedic Medicine, this practice is used as a way to cool Pitta or imbalanced heat in the body.
Unequal Ratio Breaths
Find a comfortable seated or reclining position and breathe in through the nose for four counts. Then breathe out the nose for eight counts. Repeat for 5 to 10 cycles.
Inhaling activates the sympathetic (alert and stressed) branch of the autonomic nervous system and exhaling helps activate the parasympathetic (resting) branch.
The Perfect Breath
Find a comfortable seated or reclining position and breathe in through the nose for about 5.5 seconds, then exhale out the nose for 5.5 seconds. This equates to 5.5 breaths per minute for a total movement of 5.5 liters of air. Practice for a total of 5.5 minutes.
It’s estimated that the average person breathes about 16 to 17 breaths per minute which creates a greater energy demand on your body. By slowing the breath down, the bodily systems operate with greater efficiency, decreasing inflammation and stress.
Also, by breathing in and out through the nose, we retain more moisture in the body. Mouth breathing causes the body to lose 40% more water leaving you feeling parched, which is another common symptom of overheating.
We hope these exercises help cool and calm you down during these hot months. Do let us know in the comments if they did, and if you have any other suggestions that we should try out.