Keep your cool

On sunny summer Sundays the population of Primrose Hill seems to explode, as fellow Londoners and savvy tourists flock to enjoy our wonderful views, shops and eateries.

This is great for local businesses and brings a buzzing holiday vibe. However, the sea of merry picnickers on the hill and minor traffic chaos on Regent’s Park Road can feel a little overwhelming, especially as the mercury rises.

If summertime in NW1 tends to stress you out a little, then fear not!

Here are three simple (yoga-inspired) tips for keeping your cool as Primrose Hill feels the heat…

  1. Practise your posture. Fed up with waiting for your ice-cream or coffee? Spread your toes, balance your weight evenly across the soles of your feet and roll your shoulders up, back and down. Move on to (2) below to make full use of your queuing time. (You might even find it passes more quickly!)
  2. Breathe! When we get anxious and stressed we breathe shallowly and sharply into our chest, sparking off a vicious cycle of rising panic. Instead, place both palms lightly on your lower belly and take at least five slow, steady breaths in and out, aiming to breathe out for a little longer than you breathe in. You will feel instantly cooler, calmer and more at ease with the bustling street around you.
  3. Practise gratitude. We are incredibly fortunate to have on our doorstep such beautiful green spaces, cafes and restaurants, not to mention a thriving local community. Our visitors come only for a short while, whereas we get to stay here. How lucky we are!

Caroline teaches a flowing yoga class at Primrose Hill Community Centre every Thursday, and runs workshops and retreats in Primrose Hill and rural Berkshire. See


By Caroline Shaw
Photo by Ian Shaw