Beat the Dog Days of Summer with A Downward Dog

One dog, downward.

We’re going to slow it down. It seems lately the heat and the long July days have made some of my favorites a little cranky and salty.

Tis officially, the doggiest days of summer.

Which by definition: “Dog Days” (Latin: diēs caniculārēs) are the hottest, most sultry days of summer. Dog Days can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, was somehow responsible for the hot weather.

And now you know.

If you are looking for relief, I’m serious when I say all aboard the yoga train. Men, if you have stopped reading it’s OK, but I promise you can use this advice. Thank me later.

Courtesy of the fabulous Shape Magazine

The Benefits of Yoga No One Told You About, courtesy of Shape magazine. The 5 main points Shape discusses are ones that you use in yoga but more importantly in life. I swear I’m not just drinking the yoga Kool Aid.
Patience: I agree with this point because I am use to trying to squeeze in the fastest time on my run or as many reps in XX minutes as I can. Slow down, you want to feel every muscle in your body move. I’ve actually had people say my posture has improved since I started yoga and pilates.
Acceptance: This one was a bit of a stretch, no pun intended, but yoga has a host of forms and levels of awesomeness, and some are better than others. Accept your place but work for where you want to be.
Dedication: As with any exercise, if you don’t keep at something or increase your intensity, you will be on the perpetual plateau for some time.
Kindness: I’m sure my mom and husband are wanting me to really highlight this one…kidding. This is more about being nicer to yourself and not always focusing on the negative aspects of what you are doing.
Focus: I am notorious for not being able to do one thing at a time. I’m sure I’ve texted or e-mailed straight up during a conversation. Multitasking means multiple ways to f* something up. The beauty of yoga is you go slow, think clear and breathe. I think they tell you to do the same thing when someone cuts you off in traffic.

With all the hustle and bustle, let’s all take a breather and enjoy ourselves and each other. For me, this means everything from yoga-ing to sipping on a descent cheap fine wine in front of a good movie. I am also working on adding at least 5 minutes of yoga to my evenings.

How are you unwinding this summer and keeping cool?


21 responses to “Beat the Dog Days of Summer with A Downward Dog

  1. I love yoga! Sometimes it’s hard to let go and chill, but once I do, I enjoy the practice so much. My boyfriend is convinced that hot yoga makes me dehydrated and delirious – that’s why I’m so relaxed – haha! But really, I’m just zen!

  2. I’ve read about the benefits of yoga for running but also heard that you cannot just start doing it on your own at home. I’ve heard you should go to a class at least in the beginning to properly learn to do the poses. Do you find this to be true? I was interested in trying some yoga but I don’t have the time for classes so I’d just have to do it on my own at home.

    • I have taken one proper yoga and pilates class. Definitely helps having someone show you the ropes. There are so many places that offer free sessions, start Google-ing around and you’ll be surprised. lulumon does a few free ones that I know of.

      From there, I practice using videos and YouTube:) Good luck!

  3. I totally hear you on the heat and the crankies. I keep trying to like yoga. I totally need something calming and relaxing. My hubby actually really enjoys yoga – found a DVD specific to triathletes that he started using.

  4. Ugh, we’re definitely in the DOG DAYS. Thanks for fun facts there 😉

    I started “power yoga”, there’s a good studio in our ‘hood and I might just be addicted. It feels like much more of a workout, doesn’t have the 105* Bikram craziness (which I’ve also done), and still incorporates those “Zen” moments (which I’m getting used to/liking). Namaste.

  5. I love yoga for all these reasons – though I’m much more patient with it in a studio than when I practice at home…too many distractions at home so I tend to rush it. Working on patience in ALL aspects of my life these days. 🙂

  6. These are certainly swampy days! I’ve been relaxing a lot on my days off from work by seeing my family and friends and lounging around. I think a little detox yoga is in my future tonight!

  7. Going out for happy hour with my co-workers to celebrate my 1 year anniversary at the law firm. I plan on unwinding and enjoying a nice crisp glass of white wine!!

  8. Dog Days for sure. My runs the last three days have left me totally uninspired to continue training for my marathon this fall. I keep reminding myself that I felt the same way a year ago, and it was (and will be) considerably cooler in mid-October in Detroit. Still, not looking forward to a 20-miler (or two) in August.

    Re: Yoga. Yeah, I’m sure it would be great for me and my tight-as-steel-drum hips, but if I can’t muster the patience to do regular and proper core workouts, I don’t think I’m going to get very far with the whole Yoga thing. I watch my wife doing her Gaiam workouts on the living room floor, and I can only imagine the anguish I would be in if I tried to contort my body into those same shapes. I think I’d rather run a 20-miler in August…

  9. I definitely think yoga is helpful in all those ways. I am missing it so much. I’ve realized that it’s hard for me to do the yoga class my gym offers while pregnant. I get dizzy easy because the increased blood in pregnancy goes straight to my head. Which reminds me – I need to get a Prenatal Yoga DVD stat!

  10. I really really wish I had time for yoga. After the few times I have gone, I always wonder why I don’t make the effort to go more often. Especially for a runner, yoga is so important, but alas, I don’t find the time to fit it in. Here is a Yoga for Runners DVD that we wrote about recently on my blog:

  11. I must say, I am having a really hard time with these doggie days. I had to rest for 2 days after a hard speed workout and honestly, I could use a 3rd day. Listen to your body…..

    Yoga is awesome. Especically child’s pose. I could do that pose forever!!!! :O) Or just chilling with a beer.

    Great post!!!!

  12. It sure has been hot here in Detroit! I’ve been spending a lot of time near water, and there have been plenty of downward dogs in my life too! I’ve recently tried Bikram yoga and LOVE IT! I feel refreshed and energized after a crazy sweat!

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