It’s summer time and your mind is consumed with thoughts of butterflies, picnics, flowers and long lazy days on the river, right???
If you answered with a resounding “NO” and a long chuckle, you’re not alone! These long hot days of summer often ignite the temper within us and can cause a bout of lethargy that can really rattle our nerves.
If this sounds more like your summer experience, never fear, yoga is here!!! There are many tools and techniques available to yoga practitioners to keep cool and stay calm in the summer months.
Beat the heat and stay cool, calm and focused during the longest days of the year with these simple practices.
1. Cool the breath with Sheetali Pranayama.
- Stick your tongue out and curl the sides of the tongue upward towards the center of the tongue.
- Breathe in through the mouth, hold the breath and slowly exhale through the nose.
2. Slow down your asana practice.
Here are a few suggestions.
Consider going to yin and restorative classes from time to time, especially during the day time hours. Save your strong vinyasa style classes for early in the morning or later in the evening, before or after the sun is at its hottest. Allow for more time to hang out in shavasana!
3. Stay true to savasana.
Here is a way to get the most from your final relaxation.
Lie down in Shavasana near a wall – with your feet touching the wall. Raise your legs and rest your feet on the wall. After holding the posture for a minute or two, bring the legs down and rest in Shavasana. You’ll find this asana refreshing and restorative.
Caution: Those with high blood pressure or back problems should avoid this asana.
4. And … meditate!
Here’s a great summer time meditation technique.
Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and relax.
At this time of greatest light, we meditate on light (any color, often white works well) as a symbol of spiritual energy. Breathe now gently and deeply and with each breath become aware of the light that surrounds you and the light that is within you.
See the light now in your mind’s eye. This light is all around us, we are bathed in its brightness, energy, and warmth.
Focus on the light until you sense that you and the light are one. This will be your signal that you can now bring the light inside you.
When you bring the light inside you, one way is to let it stream in through your crown chakra at the top of your head. (If it’s already entered another way, that’s okay.)
The light — this healing energy — flows through you now, from your crown, down to your third eye (between your eyebrows) to your throat, your shoulders and your arms, and your hands, to your heart, your stomach, shining brightly at your solar plexus just above your navel, and shining all the way to your tailbone. The healing light travels down through your legs, your knees, your ankles and your feet. Feel the warmth of this healing energy now as it travels all through your body.
Now sense the one part of your body where the light can shine the brightest and imagine the light there. See it shine.
Now send the light out from that part of your body where it shines the brightest. Send it out a few inches from your body.
Now extend your light out from your body just a little more, then a little more, until your light extends a few feet from your body. Extend the light out to others. Our lights meet and we are connected by this great light, connected by our renewed knowledge of Our Great Mother. Take a few minutes now to sense this energy and this connectedness.
Now take from this light the energy that you need, and know that there is plenty for all. For the Source of this light is endless and ever abundant. Take a moment to experience Her abundance, and know that as you partake of Her light and Her love, so do you give your light and your love. And as you give energy, so do you receive it. And thus does the circle of life continue.
And as we come back now to this time and place, let us give thanks for the return of Our Great Mother, and for our return unto Her.
This meditation was taken from “She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother”, 10th Anniversary Edition. Copyright 1999 by Judith Laura.
Last but not least, remember kindness and compassion above all else. Let the love that dwells in your heart center wash over you and everyone you meet like a cool, refreshing summer rain.
Happy Summer Everyone!