Whether you’re in a city, the desert, seaside, or countryside, you can tap ancient cooling practices that have stood the test of time from the archives of ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, too warm, irritable, or uncomfortable and need some quick relief, turn to one of these practices and watch as your body starts to respond:
1. Eat watermelon.
Watermelon is a cooling food. f you’re sick of plain watermelon, try adding mint, rosemary, and/or olive oil.
2. Curled tongue breathwork, or sheetali pranayama.
If you can roll your tongue, give this short pranayama (yogic breathwork) technique a try. Find a comfortable seat; sit with your eyes closed while you find center. Breathe normally for a few grounding breaths. Then curl your tongue and breathe in through the strawlike opening in your tongue. The breeze the breath creates over the tongue has a cooling effect on the entire body. Exhale through the nose. Breathe this way for one or two minutes, stopping if you’re uncomfortable, of course.
3. 20 ounces of morning hydration.
Experts suggest you drink down 20 ounces of water first thing in the morning.
4. Use aloe vera in your diet and skin.
Cooling aloe vera is a diet staple as well as a skin-soothing treatment. You can break it right off a well-kept plant, purchase aloe fillets, or use aloe vera juice.
5. Avoid inflammatory foods.
Alcohol, caffeine, and sugar are temptations deeply entrenched in summer culture, but they’re all inflammatory. Try going for mint-infused sparkling water, caffeine-free tea, and fresh fruit to satisfy your summery cravings.
6. Shoulder stands or legs up the wall.
Shoulder stands and legs up the wall give your heart a boost by helping it filter the blood in your legs and lower body.
In addition to these practices inspired by ancient modalities, wear a hat, chill in the shade, and find air conditioning when you can. Stay cool and enjoy your summer!
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