Bolster or body pillow used for support in restorative yoga. Courtesy of Google images

Bolster or body pillow used for support in restorative yoga. Courtesy of Google images

On a hot, muggy Central New York summer day, nothing sounded better than to cool down.

So as I headed into yoga, I grabbed a Kombucha tea from Strong Hearts and looked forward to resting in the what-I-hoped-to-be-cool studio — everywhere (even the ungodly frigid labs we work in at Untied) seemed to be warm today. I needed to cool off.

Of course, yoga helped.

The first thing my instructor said is that we’d be cooling our bodies today through restorative postures that cool the body’s system.

“Hooray!” my mind shouted.

Here are some of the moves that turned on our internal air conditioning systems since the city seemed to be one large heater all day.

Forward bend

A similar forward bend to the one described below. Courtesy of Google images

A similar forward bend to the one described below. Courtesy of Google images

1. Place a body pillow or folded blanket arms-length in front of you.

2. Cross your legs, but don’t overlap them. Bring your left leg in closer to the body.

3. Straighten your back and lean forward. Bring your arms to rest on the pillow or blanket, and set your forehead lie on top of them.

4. Adjust to get comfortable.

5. Feel the stretch in your hips and breathe. Try not to focus on anything but the breath, and hold for however long you want.

6. Straighten your spine out of the pose, switch which way your legs were crossed, and repeat.

Legs up the wall

Courtesy of Google images

Courtesy of Google images

1. Take a body pillow and place it one- to two-feet away from a wall.

2. Flatten a blanket and roll it once or twice to support your neck.

3. If possible, get a leash or tie or something you can wrap and fasten around your legs to support them. Tighten it around your legs — comfortably.

4. Sit on the body pillow sideways with your left side closest to the wall. Hang your left butt cheek off the pillow.

5. Rotate your body, turning into the wall and kick your legs up onto the wall.

6. Placing the soles of your feet onto the wall, lift your hips up and place the body pillow in the middle of your back near your shoulders.

7. Place the rolled blanket under your neck.

8. Extend your arms, close your eyes, and lie there.

9. Just breathe.

Yoga high: 2.0

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