Here are 3 of my current favorite tricks for keeping cool:
1.) Sheetali Pranayama is a cooling breathing exercise practiced in many yoga traditions, including Ashtanga and Iyengar. My friend, Vinitha, reminded me of it after we ran 5 miles on the beach, at high noon, when the temperature was pushing 100 degrees. Needless to say, it was an ill-advised move, and we were dangerously overheated afterward. Thankfully, sheetali, along with Gatorade and a sun shelter constructed out of a sheet and two golf clubs (thanks to our urbanite version of MacGyver, a.k.a. O.G.'s S.O.), we bounced back. Performing sheetali is simple. First, start by doing this:
Sheetali pranayama on my stoop last night. Goofy expression not necessary. You can close your eyes.
Next, you'll breathe in slowly, through your mouth, for about 5 seconds. You'll notice a cooling sensation on your tongue (if you can't curl your tongue, form your mouth into a small 'O,' as if you were sipping through a large straw). To exhale, close your mouth and breathe out your nose. Repeat.
2.) Cooling Tea Mist . . . My addiction to hot tea is well documented. Nevertheless, steamy summer temps make steamy cups of tea less appealing. A brilliant little trick to try with your green and herbal teas (especially peppermint, chamomile, or lavender) is to brew, refrigerate, and use them as a refreshing toner for your complexion. All you need is a spray bottle and voila you've created a stimulating (peppermint), antioxidant rich (green), or calming (chamomile or lavender) beauty trick on the cheap. Bring the chilled spray bottle to the beach or share with pals after a hot yoga session, and you'll be the most popular om gal or guy of the summer.
Flower tea with blossom at Sofra, Cambridge, MA.
3.) Straw Fedora for Stylish Shade. If you still don't feel cool, try looking it. Rocking a straw fedora provides shade and style, which might help you forget that you were stupid enough to run too far, too fast, when it was too hot outside.
To the coolest readers ever: What's your tip to beat the heat?