For those of us that live close to the equator, summer brings with it a whole host of physical and mental trials. Dehydration, short temper, fatigue and lack of appetite rule our lives as we brave traffic and long work days. Turning to chilled drinks, air-conditioning and other short cut methods to escape the heat prove futile in the long run. What the body and the mind need to stay cool are a few minutes of focused yoga practices as described below:

Sheetali Pranayama

This technique prevents the build-up of heat within the respiratory system.

Roll the tongue.

Extend it outward

Inhale through the rolled tongue

Pull the tongue back in and hold for 3 counts before you exhale

Repeat nine times

Left Nostril Breathing

In yoga, the right side of the body is associated with the heat of the sun, and the left with the cooling effects of the moon.

Active breathing through the left nostril activates the parasympathetic nervous system which in turn calms stress response mechanisms — an important requirement to keeping a cool head.

Sit with the back straight.

Fold the index and middle fingers of the right hand into the palm.

Cover the right nostril with the thumb

Place the ring finger on the eyebrow centre

Inhale and exhale through the left nostril 50 times

Repeat morning and noon

Varun Mudra

The human body like everything else in the universe is constituted of atoms.

Atoms mean energy. Mudras or hand gestures, like those seen in religious statues and dance forms, help to close these circuits of energy and harness it to benefit the practitioner.

Touch the tips of the little finger and thumb to each other (both hands)

Sit for 10 minutes at a time (two to three times a day)