Coping With Excessive Heat in Yoga Practices

While performing Yoga practices you might feel excessive heat in body. It mostly gets generated in the solar plexus (Manipura Chakra) region. But then it starts affecting your entire system adversely. You will feel excessive gas. You would feel painful gases and juices in your throat. You would find headache is unbearable. In some advanced practitioners the head starts burning. With such heat complications you would feel as if you’re perpetually hungry–but it’s not hunger. Even if you eat enough food, it would suppress the heat only for a while and then it resurfaces. In turn, you would eat even more and this would turn into a vicious cycle making you obese–defeating the purpose of Yoga practices.

These complications are mostly felt when you extensively practices certain Kriyas. For example–Kapalbhati Kriya. You might start believing that you’re suffering because of your Yoga practices–you can’t be further from the Truth.  Upanishads and classical treatises on Yoga say that the first obstacle in Yoga-Sadhana is to believe that it has caused some disease or painful complication as a result of practice. The faith in the efficacy of practices is an indispensable ingredient in their success. But what should a practitioner do when he is writhing in pain caused by excessive heat in the body?

In advanced stages when awakening of Kundalini has started happening–the problem of heat becomes even more acute. If you give  Yoga practices up altogether–you not only run the risk of becoming ill but also hit a hiatus in path of the spiritual realization. And if you engage even in the slightest practice–you run the risk of undergoing immense burning pain. Then how to cope with this problem of heat?

Understanding The Cause

Understanding clearly that it’s not Yoga practice which is causing heat but rather impurities which were hidden inside body prior to Yoga practice is the key to solve the problem. Heat is mainly caused because of the impurities in the Gastrointestinal Tract. Most of us don’t have clean bowels between two meals. For advanced Yoga practitioners when the energy is rising upwards it faces obstacles in GI tract because of the impurities. It’s not to suggest that there aren’t other areas where impurities might be present but the scope of this article is to address mainly the problem of heat. This is the main cause of heat but some other precautions must be exercised. Based on my own experience and guidance of learned ones–I’ve come up with following easy natural remedies. I don’t endorse treating heat problems with medications–they would just address the symptoms mostly–it’s better to use natural remedies.

Remedies

1. Hydrotherapy

It’s a simple but effective natural treatment for many problems like Diabetes, Hypertension, Constipation and many other diseases. But as per the scope of this article–we are discussing how it should be used for treating overheating of body.

You need to drink 1 litre (4 glasses) or more of water early in the morning as soon as you wake up, before brushing your teeth. Our mouth has many secretions during night and those ingredients are useful inside body–they act as the cleansing agents inside stomach. Find out your body weight. If it’s 60 kg–then 1 litre (about 4 glasses) and If it’s 70 kg–then you need to drink 5 glasses–adjust the quantity of water according to your body weight.

Don’t eat or drink anything for next 45 minutes after doing this. It’s good if you can drink the entire quantity of water in one go. But if you can’t then try drinking it gradually and gradually after a few days you would be able to drink the entire quantity in one go.

You can either lie down for a while or do mild walking–you might find that there’s an urge to go to toilet frequently for a few days–but after a few days the body would get habitual to this practice. This practice helps a great deal in getting rid of excessive body heat. Since scope of this therapy here is primarily to address body heat–the water used should be moderately cold.

Other than this practice you should increase water intake in course of day. When you feel that it has been more than 3-4 hours since you had your lunch–you can again try the similar routine. If you don’t want to follow the routine similar to the morning just keep drinking plenty of water. Don’t wait for hard thirst signal–keep drinking plenty of water. Also since excessive water intake is very likely to wipe salt out of your body–don’t forget to add a decent quantity of salt in your water after every few hours. For example: Suppose you’ve taken 8 glasses of water then you should add a teaspoonful of salt in the 9th glass of water. People who are undergoing awakening need an extraordinarily high amount of water because it’s the primary source of energy in body–contrary to what most of us believe hydroelectric energy is what keeps it all running for the most part. I found this article very useful while trying to cope with my own heat problems : Fire and Water.

2.  Diet

You might be aware of the general nature of foodstuffs. I mean whether a vegetable is hot or cold in nature. Ayurveda has given a clear-cut guidance about nature of herbs and vegetables. For example: Garlic is hot by nature it removes cough from the body but causes gas too. Ginger is also hot. Cardamom is cold and Turmeric is hot in nature. Brinjal causes gas. These are just a few examples. We consume scores of products as diet in our day-to-day lives. If you’re aware of the nature of the food and vegetables–then you would be aware of consuming only those stuffs which are cold in nature–as long as you’re suffering from heat. Yogic practitioners and advanced yogis almost always remain hot–therefore they can choose to consume hot stuffs mostly.

Avoid tea and coffee and alcoholic beverages as they’re very likely to increase heat and cause more impurities in path of rising energy.

3. Practice Schedule

It’s best to practice Yoga early in the morning between 4:00 AM to 6:00 AM. This period is known as Bramh Muhurta. There are is ozone in the atmosphere during this period and air is fresh. If you can’t practice during this period then try practicing around twilight. Sushumna path is clearer doing twilight. There are three main channels for the flow of life force energy. The Sushumna is the path which is conducive for the self-realization.

It’s important that you take a bath with cold water before starting Yoga practices. You should preferably practice Yoga on an empty stomach and you can also practice it after 4-5 hours after meal. Try to practice Yoga in a clean atmosphere where mechanical and human noises are least present.

4. Ida Nadi Shodhana

Nadi Shodhana or alternate nostril breathing are exercises which help clean impurities from passages through which energy flows. If these channels have impurities–you are very likely to feel heat and other complications. Therefore, before starting other breathing practices it’s a must to practice cleansing of Naadis. It’s simple to practice.

Sit comfortably–closing your right nostril with help of your thumb of the right hand–inhale through the left nostril fully. Hold the breath for two seconds–then using two of your right hand fingers close your left nostril gently and exhale through your right nostril. This is one cycle. You can perform 100 such cycles before going into other practices. If you find that it’s difficult to perform this practice–you know that there are blockages.

Alternatively this procedure can be performed with inhalation through right nostril and exhalation through the left but it’s not advised for those who are suffering from heat. It must be remembered that Ida or left nostril channel is the cold channel and Pingala or right nostril channel is the hot channel. If you simply keep inhaling and exhaling through Ida or cold channel–it would also help getting rid of excessive heat.

The Kapalbhati is a very useful practice and it cures you from many diseases but it’s important to practice it in moderation or stop practicing it altogether while you’re coping with excessive heat. Kapaal Bhati activates the solar plexus which generates heat.

Thanks for reading this article. I am hopeful that those who are suffering from excessive heat while practicing Yoga might find solace in these simple remedies. May God bless us all.

Om Shantih Shantih Shantih!

image courtesy: here

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