Transitions in Yoga

Photo by Michele Venne

The weather is in transition. We need to remember our bodies respond to the heat and cold, the length of the days, even if we’re working indoors. As the temperatures increase (especially in the desert), it’s best if we cool down our asana practice.

Now is not the time to try a vinyasa or power class. You may not be interested in yin or restorative, but those options could be explored and interspersed throughout the week with, or instead of, the classes you’re already attending.

Pay more attention to the breath and which poses cause it to deepen, or to be held. One way to unintentionally heat up the body is to not know when you’re breathing in and out. Yes, the breath is an excellent way to focus the mind. The speed and depth of the breath can calm or excite the mind as well. But moving too far into a pose, or attempting a version that isn’t appropriate for the body causes the breath to hitch, to suspend, to be lost. Noticing the breath also serves to anchor a distracted mind in the present moment.

This doesn’t mean that for the next several months your asana practice won’t be challenging. It’s a suggestion to keep the body from unnecessarily overheating while the weather shifts from comfortable (70’s and 80’s) toward uncomfortable (unless you’re a lizard). Once we’ve acclimated to the heat and the longer days, then it’s time to move forward in the classes, in the level of pose challenge, even in the acceptance of the limitation of the body.