A little while since posted back at the beginnings of Spring, no reason in particular, just allowing the season to unfold, being guided by the environment and my own practice, which over the past thirty years continues to evolve and never stops surprising and motivating me!
Tomorrow marks the Summer Solstice, and we find ourselves at the half way point as the season shifts from the shorter days of winter and spring to the longer and brighter days of summer! So many of our practices revolve around the sun (including of course Surya Namaskar) Sun Salutations. The origin of “Saluting the Sun” is not about getting the perfect chaturanga or downward dog, it’s about bowing to and taking in the fiery solar energy of the sun to wake us up, energise us and start our day. Since Solstice is the longest day of the year, it’s a great time to take advantage of the extra sunlight to wake up early and do something that makes you feel great, whether it’s meditation, yoga or even taking a revitalising bath or shower with some pure essential oils, which can also life the spirit or soothe the body and mind. Getting outdoors and enjoying the summer sun. Take a walk by the water or park and make time to connect with nature.
Our bodies cycle through an organic ebb and flow of change when the seasons shift that serves to harmonise and create balance within us. Foods that we eat are abundant at particular times of the year too, weather patterns and seasonally inspired activities. Our bodies tend to adjust naturally to the environmental changes but it never hurts to integrate some tweaks to your routine to aid in the transition and link more intimately with the season that is upon you.
In our yoga practice during the summer we look to balance the heat and energy of this time of year by cultivating the opposite environment on the inside of our bodies. (Cool & Calm) This approach will nourish your system and help increase your energy levels. Your yoga will help to encourage equilibrium. Some suggestions are your sun salutations, supported back bends, supported shoulder stand, forward bends, supine twists and incorporating some soothing and contemplative yin yoga to compliment and self regulate. Look also to delve into heart openers, the chest cavity, inner and outer arms (shoulders and upper back stretches) to stimulate the energy channels in these areas in order to consider this an invitation to slow down and surrender to the joy of the present moment!
Another essential component to balance the body as it metabolises your efforts from the inside, out is to eat now vegetables and fruit that have a high water content; melons, cucumbers and leafy greens. Keep things light and cool. If you ever feel that you are over heating, coconut water is very cooling to the body (be mindful though of how much you drink as it is a natural laxative)! Incorporate herbs and spices like mint, fennel, cumin and coriander. Although our bodies will always crave balance as the seasons shift, it is always beneficial practice to offer a little assistance! Pranayama should include the practice of Sheetali to cool the body, mind and emotions.
Trust your instincts on all of my recommendation and always do that which feels right for you as you enjoy a Happy Summer Time!
We are now at the gateway to the rest of the year!
So ……. Take your yoga outside and enjoy the Surya!!
Exciting news, I will be hosting ‘Yoga in the Park’ locally to me every Saturday throughout the summer starting from July 13th at the lovely Loch Neaton in Norfolk. This will be a 40 minute session from 8am to 8.40am and will take place before the ‘Park Run’ so that the athletes amongst you may like to enjoy a new challenge as well. It is open to all levels. It is also FREE, so come along and let’s enjoy the early summer mornings bringing the community together!
Other dates for your diaries, couple of last minute places are still available for this Saturday (22/6) Mindful Walking Meditation in my garden from 10.45-1pm with homemade refreshments after, the morning is £20. Anyone can come to this whether you practice yoga or not. It is a chance to learn how to attend to your body through the practice of walking mindfully. The next Summer Yoga Event in my garden is Saturday July 20th from 10.30am to 1pm. A lovely opportunity to be outdoors to increase wakeful relaxation and internal focus, the morning includes refreshments, (homemade again) and the ideal chance to enjoy the warmth and song of life!
I will post out dates later for my Autumnal and Winter evening practices nearer the time!
Take a lovely deep breath in ………. pause ……… and breathe out, with your feet upon the grass, stand tall, close your eyes and open your arms with your palms up, smile and enjoy the sun shining on your face as you invite space into and through your heart centre. Enjoy the sounds and aromas of summer.
If if you would like to be in touch with me for further information about any of my upcoming events, please do so in the usual way.
My Yoga Blessings to you all for a Happy Summer Solstice and Summertime.
May the Sun Shine on your Mind!
Love Susan x x