In summer weather, our bodies are ready for yoga! It takes less time to warm the muscles to the point where we can safely stretch. Earlier sunrises can inspire movement earlier in the day (sun salutations!) and summer adds an element of laid-back fun to our yoga practice. Try this variation on sun salutations with your kids--on the beach, in the grass, or in the comfort of your air-conditioned living room! Play some Beach Boys or your own favorite summer tunes. Finish up with a breathing exercise that cools and calms the body and mind.
Hot-sand Hop: Jump from one foot to the other, lifting knees up high, as though walking on hot sand.
Lighthouse: Stand with feet a little wider than your shoulders, reach your arms up and press your palms together.
Lifeguard: Make “binoculars” with your hands around your eyes and twist from side to side, looking for swimmers who may need your help.
Seashell Snatch: Fold forward, bending the knees slightly and swaying from side to side so that your fingertips slide across the floor, as though sifting through the sand for seashells.
Surfboard Paddle: Lay on tummy as though on a surfboard, lifting legs off the floor, use your arms to paddle out into the ocean.
Surfer Chic/Surfer Dude: Jump up off the floor and land with your feet wide apart, with your front knee bent (Warrior II) and your arms up for balance. Ride the waves!
Cooling Breath (Sitali Pranayama): Imagine you are taking a long slow sip out of a straw. Make a small circle with your lips and breath in as though pulling air up through the straw. Swallow, close your lips and exhale through the nose. Several rounds of this breath cools down the body, eases upset feelings and restores balance between mind and body.