Ideally our yoga practice doesn’t stay the same throughout the year but rather changes with the seasons. For the summer, that means favoring calm, quiet practices over vigorous, heating ones. Try this quick summer yoga sequence to keep you calm and collected all season.
1. Moon salutations. Moon salutations are a series of yoga poses linked by the breath. They are similar to sun salutations except that, whereas the former heats up the body, the latter keeps you cool and quiet. They encourage a peaceful, quiet state of mind and are just lovely on a hot summer day. Instructions can be found here. For some additional inspiration, check out Shiva Rhea’s gorgeous variation here. 4 rounds.
2. Supported backbend. Take bridge pose and slip a block under your sacrum for support. If you don’t have a block, try a rolled towel or sacrum. I like to take my arms overhead and clasp my elbows but you can do anything with your arms that you like. Hold for 3-5 minutes.
3. Supine twist. Hug knees into the chest, then gently drop your knees from right to left, moving back and forth with the arms in a t-shape about 6-8 times. The next time you drop your knees to the right, leave them there for 10 breaths. Switch sides.
4. Seated forward fold. From a seated position with the legs outstretched, inhale your arms overhead and exhale as you fold forward. Take care to tilt your pelvis forward as you fold and keep the front of your spine long. 10 breaths. As an alternative try a supported wide-legged forward fold: stretch your legs out into a v-shape and fold forward, resting the spine on to a bolster, sofa cushion, or several folded blankets. If you choose this variation, hold for 3-5 minutes keeping light attention on the breath.
5. Legs up the wall. Preferably something soft under your sacrum, like a folded blanket or sofa cushion. Five minutes.
6. Shitali pranayama. Curl your tongue into a roll and stick your tongue out. Breath in through your rolled tongue and out through your nose. 16 breaths. If you have trouble rolling your tongue, try making a donut shape with your mouth instead.
7. Savasana. 5-10 minutes.