Try to take time to go outside to breathe fresh air, allow your body to sweat and detox. Summer is a great time to work on your body, so if you like to practice yoga find a place which is NOT air-conditioned, use the natural heat to help you sweat and draw out the toxins from your body. Heat can help you create fluidity in your joints so it is also a great time to practice dynamic asana. But if you prefer to not to get overly sweaty, do take time out early in the morning to practice yoga. Just keep in mind to always listen to your body and adjust your practice accordingly. Keep hydrated, and monitor your diet.
1. Sitali breath (Cooling breath)
2. Butterfly (Baddhakonasana)
While sitting on your bottom, bring the soles of the feet together wrapping your hands around your feet. Drop the knees out to the side, and extend your spine upwards. Start to move the knees gently up and down in a butterfly wing motion. Observe how you feel in your hips. Continue for about 2 minutes.
3. Cat - Cow (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)
Come onto all four on the ground with your knees hip-width apart, as well as your hands directly under your shoulder. As you inhale, start to turn your hip back pointing the tail bone towards the sky, curve your spine down, and gently tilt your head back and bring your gaze upwards. As you exhale start to turn your hip in, tucking the tail bone under, pushing the back of your shoulder blades up towards the sky and bringing your chin towards your chest. Continue this movement in synch with your breath for about 10 cycles. As you go through the movement try to create a smooth wave like flow in your spine, always starting at the base of the spine and moving up to the base of the skull.
4. Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)
5. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
6. Tree pose (Vriksasana)
7. Wide-legged forward bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
This forward bend conditions the legs and massages the abdominal and pelvic organs. Stand with your legs wide apart and your spine extended. Bring your hands onto your hips, inhale as you come into a slight back bend and exhale as you come into a forward bend. Bring the palms onto the ground, relax your neck, shoulders, and extend the spine trying to bring the crown of your head to the ground. Stay in this position for 5 breaths and build up over time to hold for longer.
8. Fish pose (Matsyasana)
Fish pose helps with upper spine, chest and shoulder opening. So if you are often involved in desk work, this will be a wonderful asana for you. It also regulates metabolism as this position stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid gland which lies around the throat. Lie on your back with your legs extended and feet together with the toes pointing. Bring your arms beside your body and tuck your arms under your back, bring the hands under your buttocks with the palms placed on the mat. As you inhale start to lift up your chest and head off the mat while you bend your elbows and bring the elbows closer to each other. Try to lower your head back as much as possible to extend the throat, this stimulates the thyroid gland. You should feel the stretch on your chest and throat area. Maintain this posture and breathe in and out of the nose. Stay in this posture for as long as comfortable, preferably 5 breaths minimum.
8. Fish pose (Matsyasana)
9. Lion pose (Simhasana)
Melissa Kuwahata Daswani
Melissa started to indulge in yoga with a keen interest in her 20’s after researching the benefits of practising yoga.
In order to expand her knowledge and practice, she initially enrolled on official training in India during 2009. Her initial stint in yoga teaching began in 2012 in Togo, followed by expanding in the Gambia from 2016. Melissa’s style of teaching incorporates the fundamental and crucial steps of yoga called Hatha yoga, which encompasses the basis of all other styles of yoga. Melissa believes that every individual has something to gain from Yoga which is not limited to mental, physical or spiritual.
Yoga is not a religion but more a spiritual exercise as well as a practice that can universally be incorporated into your daily routine. Melissa offers regular weekly classes in Fajara, the Gambia, which is open to all levels.
She also runs a weekly beach yoga class which is very refreshing and energizing.
It’s her love and dedication towards teaching which allows her the opportunity to share the essence of yoga and its benefits to people from all walks of life.
Whether you reside in the Gambia or a visitor in The Gambia, Yoga Bliss Gambia would love to welcome you to their next class.