It’s never been this hot.
Mainland Europe is breaking heat records and I can’t use air conditioning because the energy prices are so high. So what do I do?
That’s when I started looking into how to keep cool using meditation and breathing exercises.
So if you’re looking for a free and easy way to cool down, this article may help.
Shitali Pranayama – The cooling breath
If you’re reading this you are probably too hot and bothered to hear about all the science and benefits of meditation, so let’s get straight to a practical exercise to cool you down.
Shitali Pranayama is a literal Sanskrit translation for “cooling”.
Steps to practice cooling breath
If you at any point feel your head spin, stop the exercise immediately.
If Shitali Pranayama isn’t quite your style, or if you’re looking to explore more ways to keep cool through meditation and breathing, here are some alternative techniques you can try:
Sheetkari Pranayama – The Hissing Breath
This practice is similar to Shitali but is performed with clenched teeth.
Mindful breathing can help calm the mind and body, making you feel cooler.
Cooling Visualization Meditation
Using your imagination, you can visualize cooling scenes to help lower your body temperature.
Cold Water Breathing
This technique involves using cold water to enhance the cooling effect.
These alternative techniques offer other ways to approach cooling down, both physically and mentally.
Experiment with them to find what works best for you, and remember to listen to your body and stop if you feel any discomfort.
Whether you’re facing a heatwave or just a particularly warm day, these practices can be a valuable addition to your toolkit for staying cool and comfortable.
Using meditation to stay cool
Embracing the heat
Hopefully, after that exercise, you’ll feel a little cooler. But if you really want to get feel cooler, you might also want to add some meditation to your routine.
It is possible to enhance your heat tolerance through repeated exposure to hot conditions.
According to Dr. Jessica Mee, a lecturer, and researcher in the School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Sciences at Bangor University in Wales, practicing Bikram yoga in a heated room can be seen as a type of heat training.
After about 15 sessions spread over four weeks, individuals tend to undergo specific physical adaptations that enable them to better handle heat stress.
Dr. Norman Farb, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga, talks about how our minds can affect how we feel in hot or cold weather.
He says that if we think it’s too hot or cold, our bodies can react by making us feel even hotter or colder. This can create a stressful cycle that makes things worse.
He points out that practices like meditation can help us focus on what we’re really feeling, rather than what we think we’re feeling. This can make us stronger mentally and help us handle extreme temperatures better.
However, he also warns that we can’t just rely on our minds to control how our bodies react to the weather. Even if we think we can handle the heat or cold, our bodies still have limits.
If we push ourselves too far, we might actually put ourselves in danger of overheating or freezing. He reminds us that it’s not always as simple as just thinking our way through it.
In the face of record-breaking heat and high energy costs, turning to meditation and breathing exercises like Shitali Pranayama can be a free and effective way to cool down.
By combining physical techniques with mental resilience, you can enhance your ability to handle heat. But remember, while the mind is powerful, it’s essential to recognize the body’s limits to avoid potential risks.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be construed as professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms of any mental health condition, we strongly advise consulting with a qualified healthcare professional.