Amidst record-breaking temperatures and heat advisories spiking across the United States and Europe—this summer, everyone’s looking for ways to beat the heat. One method from Kundalini Yoga offers experiencing the benefits of taking a three minute cold shower, a yogic practice that yields what's known as Ishnaan. According to Yogi Bhajan, Ishnaan is:

“An elevated and healing state achieved when the body by its own virtue creates the internal temperature necessary for it to ward off the external temperature of the cold water.”

The added benefit of exploring this practice during the hottest heat of summer makes the cold water less shocking and more inviting. So, if you’re like us in Middle Tennessee and expecting another week of temperatures above 90 and into the 100’s, here’s your primer to kick off your cold shower practice—pronto!

According to Kundalini Yoga, the health benefits of Ishnaan include some pretty positive stuff, such as keeping your skin radiant, opening capillaries, flushing the organs, keeping the blood chemistry healthy and stimulating the healthy secretion of the glandular system. In my personal practice over the years, I’ve found cold shower yoga to provide the following energetic benefits as well:

  • Strengthens Boundaries: The cold water closes the pores, reducing energy leaks and helping to shield sensitive people from energy vampires. Yogi Bhajan said:
“Shield yourself… Hydrotherapy is based on water being a fatherly shield, paanee pitaa, and that anybody who can produce this shield that conquers the coldness of the water, can conquer death. It’s a very simple thing. If I with my body can conquer the chilliness of the water, I can take away the chilliness of my life.”
  • Detoxifies the Blood: During a cold shower, the blood rushes out and the capillaries open up and all deposits are cleared away. Everything is cleansed from even the tiniest corners of the inner universe. Yogi Bhajan said:
“When the organs get a flushing, then immediately the glands have to change their secretion… when the glands, which are the guardians of health and life, change, youth returns. What is youth? Young glands. When the glandular system secretes correctly then the blood chemistry is a young chemistry. All the neurosis and angriness will be over.”

Before stepping under the stream, however, there are some important precautions to be aware of:

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