Summer Yoga Practice.
The season of long days and warm nights, where the to-do list seems endless and months fly by in the blink of an eye. A celebration of raw, fresh vegetables and swimming in cold rivers and high alpine lakes. Bare feet, minimal clothing and windows rolled down on dirt roads. Summer is the time of joy, fire, and ambition.
Because winter can feel endless in the Northern Hemisphere, when the light and warmth of summer finally rolls around people tend to go on overdrive. Everyone emerges from the woodwork, flocking towards the mountains and rivers.
The element of summer is fire, it is naturally a season filled with lots of heat and enthusiasm. The flame of this season breaks up any residual stagnation from spring and sheds light to creative projects you are bringing to fruition.
When it comes to a physical practice, choosing a soothing yoga routine will help balance the fever of summer and calm fiery emotions such as irritability or over-ambition. It is best to practice in the cool hours of the day, early morning or late evening, when the sun is less intense. I tend to do a lot more yin yoga during the summer months, especially postures that target the heart and small intestine meridians. These meridians help govern the bodies blood flow in both a physical and energetic sense. The heart meridian plays a crucial role in helping you feel lively, vibrant, and connected. If the heart center is out of balance we tend to feel depressed, lethargic, and detached. Conversely, a lack of balance could also leave you feeling overactive, angry, and hot-tempered.
I still do a vinyasa flow most mornings, however I tend to move through postures extremely slow, focusing on long, cooling breaths and not building more heat than absolutely necessary. I end each practice with 30-60 minutes of yin where I stay in postures for 3-5 minutes. During the yin portion I focus on grounding and allowing gravity and the natural heat built from this time of year to untangle hidden bits of tension and stress.
Summer Yin Postures:
- Butterfly pose
- Dragon pose
- Caterpillar pose
- Anahatasana (melting heart pose)
- Reclined twist
- Broken branch pose (shoulder opening)
Help yourself stay balanced throughout the summer by practicing yin, drinking lots of water, eating raw + cooling foods, and prioritizing rest and time for yourself alongside the lengthy summer agenda.