I'm delighted to be writing from my new home in Amherst, MA! What a relief to be on the other side of the move and settling in.
The most difficult thing for me about this summer, aside from the move, has been the unrelenting heat. While I know of some people who find this weather energizing, heavy humid days short circuit my Eastern European constitution. Below is a simple Kundalini yoga breathing practice I recommend to help prevent physical, mental, and emotional meltdowns.
Sitali Pranayama, or Cooling Breath
This practice can cool your temperature, your nerves, your mind, and even your temper.
Sit comfortably with your spine straight (on a chair, the floor, in your car, wherever) and take a few deep breaths to settle. To begin, stick out your tongue and curl it into a U, as demonstrated by this nice young man in the photo.
Inhale slowly through your tongue like it's a straw to the count of five, then withdraw your tongue, close your lips, and exhale slowly through your nose to the count of five. If you can't curl your tongue (it's genetic!) simply substitute inhaling through closed teeth and open lips. Continue as long as you like.
The only real trick to this practice is remembering to do it before overheating!
For more information about how and why this practice works, check out this video.