Living in a coastal town, it’s safe to say a lot of us look forward to summer! We often think of the summer season as intensely heated and fiery, light and expansive. We spend more time outdoors perhaps at the beach soaking up the solar energy or maybe cooking out with friends and family… it’s the season of “taking it easy” and relaxing. We can’t help but feel gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy the elements and surround ourselves (and our practice) by the water and sunshine. We’ve been enjoying the summer with everyone not only in the studio but out at Seaside Yoga and SUP Yoga! While most of the time we welcome this season…we are headed into the “Dog Days of Summer” where the heat can seem overwhelming and even unbearable at times. With the increase of solar energy, we not only feel the effects of this on a physical level but also on a mental and energetic level. During this time it’s important to consider “Dinacharya” or healthy daily practices to “keep cool” during this Pitta (fire) season, which is exactly what we will be doing all throughout August at Longwave Yoga.
Yoga's healing sister science of Ayurveda has gifted us with time-honored approaches to beat the summer heat. By staying in tune with Mother Nature's cycles through diet and lifestyle, we as humans are also able to navigate the ebb and flow of our own natural tendencies. Yoga practiced during this time should be slow, light-hearted and cooling - don't forget to smile and have fun with it. Feel free to get creative with your practice as well - go out and try that SUP yoga class you've always wanted to try...early morning or sunset style, we've got you covered (and there's nothing more cooling than falling in the water)!
Cultivating an inner calm during our asana practice is what we should aim for during the summer months. By keeping our focus on our bodies and not on our minds will help us draw the heat down and out. Even if you're the kind of person who does everything at 100%, see if you can level out your effort at 80%. Less is more! Skip the judgment and bring your awareness to cooling exhales while creating space in the body. The solar plexus chakra is often activated at this time, so twists and side-openers, cat/cow and moon salutations are often popular asanas to practice.
The 5th Season
(Traditional Chinese Medicine) Another aspect of the month of August is Chinese Medicine's Fifth Season which represents the end of summer. This season occurs from late August through the Autumn Equinox.The takeaway message here is that Nature's cycles are very much in tune with our bodies and minds. The end of summer is related to the Earth element - time to disconnect on a vacation, practice grounding through the body, and allow yourself to slow way down. This season is languid and still, tranquil even. Make sure you get adequate rest, eat nourishing foods and perhaps take a Restorative or Yin & Yang class to make it even sweeter.
Stay cool and be well, yogis!