Teaching Cooling Yoga Poses to Calm the Mind

500 hour hatha yoga teacher certification programBy Kimaya Singh

In today’s fast paced world, many of us struggle to balance many demands from both the professional and personal areas of our lives. We may feel that we are racing all day long from one activity to another without a moment to pause, sit still and take a few breaths. A well-rounded and regular practice of Yoga can help our students to achieve a sense of balance and calm in their lives. If you include a variety of asanas into your lesson plans, which are supported by the simultaneous practice of pranayama exercises, your students’ strength, flexibility and peace of mind will increase over time.


Many Yoga poses fall into two general categories: heating and cooling. Yoga postures that are heating to the body include vigorous Sun Salutations, arm balances and standing asanas. Cooling poses quiet both the mind and body as the poses facilitate the inward withdrawal of the senses known in the Yoga sutras as “pratyahara.” The practice of pratyahara is very restorative in nature because it gives your mind and senses a break from continually being focused on external stimuli.

Explaining Twisted Child’s Pose to Your Students

Twisting Yoga asanas are cooling to both the body and mind. To practice Twisted Child’s Pose, come to a kneeling position on your mat. If your knees are sensitive, you may wish to place a folded blanket underneath you for padding. Take a few deep breaths. With your next inhale, raise your right arm up in the air as high as you are able to, with your fingers pointing to the sky and your palm facing away from your body. With your next exhale, bring your right arm down and thread it under your torso and left arm.


The back of your right arm will rest on the mat. Keep your palm facing up and your right arm parallel to the front of your mat. Rest your right cheek on your mat. Close your eyes and hold this Yoga asana for three to five complete breaths. Feel the stretch all along your right arm, shoulder and neck. Let your mind quiet as you breath softly and deeply, releasing tension a little more with each exhale. With your next inhale, un-thread your right arm and come back to the center of your Yoga mat and rest in Child’s Pose. When you are ready, repeat on the left hand side.

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2 thoughts on “Teaching Cooling Yoga Poses to Calm the Mind”

  1. Thank you for distinguishing between heating and cooling and the special attributes. First found Twisting child for my musculoskeletal issues, but this variation allows for no props and is useful in class situations. Namaste.

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