No matter what season the rest of the country says is happening or how surrounded by pumpkin spice we are… fall weather takes a while to hit in Austin. While we unfortunately can’t usher in sweater weather any faster, we can make the enduring heat a little more bearable- with yoga! The benefits of yoga go beyond strengthening, increased flexibility, or centering. There are certain yoga poses that can even regulate your internal body temperature. So when triple-digit weather gets to be a bit too much, try these three cooling yoga poses from Downtown yoga instructor, Anne Schultz!
Cooling Yoga #1 – Legs Up the Wall
Viparita Karani – also known as Legs Up the Wall Pose. It’s a pretty straightforward name for a pretty straightforward pose. To start, sit down while facing a wall, and scoot your hips as close to the wall as possible. Lie onto your back and swing your legs upward until they are in an upright position against the wall. That’s it! You can make adjustments to make this pose more comfortable for yourself – in the photo, Anne is using a bolster to add support to her hips.
This pose helps to alleviate physical and mental fatigue- by bringing balance to your body and mind, you’ll inevitably cool everything down in the process. This is also a great way to begin a yoga inversion practice.
Cooling Yoga #2 – Inverted Lake Pose on Chair
Chair Viparita Karani – Inverted Lake pose on Chair. This variation of Legs up the Wall utilizes a chair to reap the cooling benefits. Position a yoga bolster underneath the chair, and a yoga blanket on the seat to support your hips. Sit on the blanket, facing the back of the chair. Start to lean backwards until your shoulders are supported by the bolster. Straighten your legs at a 90 degree angle into the air. You can hold onto the legs of the chair for extra support. This is a wonderful restorative pose that cools the mind, body, breath, and relaxes the internal organs as well.
Cooling Yoga #3 – Shoulder Stand on Chair
Chair Sarvangasana – Shoulder stand on chair. Repeat the steps of the second pose to get into position on the chair. In this variation, you will lean the back of your legs against the back of the chair. Your body should be in a straight diagonal. The support of the chair enables you to stay in this pose longer, hence enjoying more of the restorative cooling effect. For more support, you can also put another bolster behind the legs.
Anne Schultz is a Certified Iyengar Yoga instructor. She has practiced yoga since 1994 and has taught yoga since 1997. She currently studies locally with Devon Dederich in Austin. She has studied with many other senior teachers in the Iyengar system and has a gift for distilling their teaching down to a very basic level. She recently spent a month studying at the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India. Anne is also a professor of Philosophy at Baylor University in Waco.
Anne teaches an Alignment/Iyengar Yoga class on our Downtown schedule twice a week – Tuesdays at 9:45am and Fridays at 10am. You can expect her classes to incorporate her great sense of humor, so expect fun, thoughtful reflections on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything in between.