Iyenga Yoga

Jeannette Merryfield  became a certified teacher with the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada in 2001. She teaches through the Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria and at the YMCA in Victoria, BC, Canada. Jeannette also has a private practice Merryfield Wellness where she teaches yoga and provides massages. Jeannette offers retreats in Mexico at the Mayan Riveria. She has instructed at retreats in Isla Mujeres, Tulum, Peurto Muerollos, and Negril Jamaica.

Jeannette can be reached at

Summer Poses with Iyengar Yoga
By Jeannette Merryfield

Yoga means union of the individual soul with the universal spirit, union of the mind , body and soul.  Summer asana practice, the body is more receptive to stretching because of the heat.

Cooling Yoga Poses
Many poses (asanas) are beneficial for hot weather practice. The poses offered here are more for general and easier to understand so that anyone can do.

This pose balances the systems and calms and supports stability within.

Viparita Korani - legs up the wall pose

This pose works to cool the body by allowing it to relax, this is also an inversion which has a cooling effect on the body. To move into the pose take both legs up the wall. Move the hips close into the wall so the legs do not have to work to stay up. If the hamstrings( back muscles of the thighs) are tight move the hips far enough away so as not to strain. Close eyes. Rest 5 minutes.

To come out of pose, draw knees into chest and roll to one side to press up to be seated.


  • Eye bag placed over eyes to quiet the mind, and soothe eyes
  • Bolster under hips, below lower ribs

Supta Baddha Konasana - reclined cobbles

Recline pose benefits digestion, opens the chest, improves respiration and circulation.

Required props: Bolster, 3 blankets, strap
Bolster is placed lengthwise on the floor, sit in front of the bolster, mindfully place body onto bolster, blanket under head for support, blanket rolled on either side of upper legs for hip support, strap overhead ,around sacrum and inner thighs, ankles.

Paschottanasana or Janu Sirsasana - forward  bends 

Forward bends are beneficial for digestion, massages and strengthens abdominal organs, beneficial for high blood pressure and toning thyroid.

Forward bends also have a cooling effect on the body. A supported Paschottanasana or Janu Sirsasana  can be done by folding the torso over a bolster.

Spinal twist

Spinal twist brings flexibility to spine, tones and strengthens abdominal, rejuvenates liver, kidney and spleen, opens chest, helps alleviate depression and fatigue, increase mobility in shoulder and upper back.

Sit with legs stretched in front of you. Bend your right leg up, with your foot flat on the floor near your perineum and calf tight against your thigh. Keep left leg outstretched and active. Bend your right elbow to right inner knee , breath, extend spine  and rotate torso toward left leg.

Downward facing dog increases the blood supply to the brain

Setu Bandha - little bridge

Little bridge  is great to help cool the body when the weather is hot outside.also tones kidneys, adrenal glands and relieves high blood pressure.

Ending practice with Savasana, relaxing pose

One of the best ways to cool the body  is to relax and slow down

Cooling Hibiscus Pomegranate Beverage

When in Mexico I always had hibiscus tea cool with me in a container, very refreshing and energizing, just what one needs in the heat. Happy Summer!

  • 1/4 cup loose hibiscus tea
  • 4 cup boiling water
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 cup unsweetened Pomegranate  juice
  • Spritz of fresh lemon juice/orange sliced into rounds
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint
  • 16 organic frozen strawberries
  • 24 organic frozen blueberries 


  1.  Pour tea in a heat proof container, pour in boiling water, steep 5 minutes
  2.  Strain tea into a pitcher. Stir in cold water, pomegranate juice and lemon juice
  3. Add orange slices , mint, refrigerate for one hour
  4. Add frozen berries into individual glasses when serving.
  • Store for up to 4 days in fridge 
  • Pomegranate high levels of antioxidants , hibiscus is uplifting

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