July - where the yoga is hot whether you like it or not!
Namaskar Yoga friends,
Welcome to summer where the yoga is hot whether you like it or not. Since it’s hot out, make sure to stay hydrated for your practice - and in general. Water and coconut milk are my favorite combo for hydration. If you drink Crockaid or Powerjuice or Brawndo The Thirst Mutilator or any of those other electrolyte Color-aid drinks, make sure to drink the same amount of water. In other words, for every sixteen ounces of Shakti-Aid-type drink that you ingest, drink sixteen ounces of some good water, or cut these drinks fifty percent with water. You may want to explore some of the other do-it-yourself options for electrolyte drinks. There are many alternative recipes out there, in books or on the internet, with which to experiment. One suggested concoction includes a mix of lemon juice, honey, salt, and water. Another, seltzer water and grapefruit juice on the rocks. When traveling on long flights, in attempts to thwart jet lag, I personally like to make a super hydration drink with one eighth teaspoon sea salt, a quarter to a half teaspoon of baking soda, and a teaspoon full of grade A maple syrup in sixteen ounces of water and then take a second sixteen ounce glass of water with a table spoon of honey and the juice of a squeezed organic lemon. Hot, cold, or room temperature, this drink combination is great. Alternate sipping from the two glasses, chasing the salt and baking soda maple with the lemon honey, back and forth and enjoy.
In order to cleanse and purify the body temple we must move and stretch. When we move, if our muscles are not hydrated, it is like bending a used dry sponge in half or back and forth. Both the muscle and the sponge will tear if not hydrated properly. Try hard to remember that dehydration kills brain cells. Right now the time is right to explore the possibilities, find your favorite drink combination and keep an open mind to whatever may emerge-and-see... (now with electrolytes).
Something that you may want to try on a more yogic level is to infuse your water with the same energy in your breath, an ethereal life force known to Yogis as Prana. This is the breath of life. You can accomplish this Prana drink ritual by taking your container of water into your left palm holding the glass from underneath in front of your sternum a few inches from the center of your chest. With your right hand above the mouth of the cup, flick the fingers off the thumb as you hinge your wrist down and drop your fingertips toward the water as though flicking little Prana droplets into your drink. Take three to five deep breaths while doing this. To achieve a higher concentration of Prana in your beverage, you can use a special breathing technique known in Yoga as the ocean breath, or the victorious breath (in Sanskrit known as Ujjayi). To perform Ujjayi Pranayama correctly you must first tighten the glottis in the back of your throat. Inhale with an open mouth, constricting the breath by making the passage smaller and allowing a soft hissing sound to spin in the back of the soft palate on the roof of the mouth. Exhale with a dropped jaw and a slow regulated Hhhaaa as though trying to fog up a window or a mirror. Keep the same action with your throat and try it again with your lips closed. The breath should be slow and regulated. I have a clock that makes a ticking sound every second that I use to regulate my breath. If I am in more of a calm, meditative, and relaxed mindset, I synchronize my breath to six seconds per inhale, six seconds per exhale for three to five breaths. If you have larger lungs or have more experience with breath control, increase to eight seconds per inhale and equal length exhale. If you have smaller lungs, shorten it to four seconds.
So flick Prana from your fingertips into your water as you practice the Victorious or Ocean breath technique (Ujjayi Pranayama) and then sip away through the hot summer day.
Studio BLUE - we offer classes in many styles, from Ashtanga to Yin! There's a class for everyone here at Studio BLUE. We're here to support you in your yoga journey, whether you've been on the path for years, or are just starting out. See you on the mat!
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