by: Nichole Golden
As the seasons shift, our bodies cycle through an organic ebb and flow of change that serves to harmonize and create balance within us. These changes are usually influenced by the seasons themselves: hours of daylight, foods that are abundant at particular times of the year, weather patterns, and seasonally inspired activities.
Although your body will adjust to these changes naturally, it never hurts to integrate some simple tweaks into your routine to aid in the transition and link yourself more intimately with the season that is upon you.
The summer months are a time of light and warmth, and the energy of summer radiates at a high vibration. To balance the heat and energy of the summer season, aim to cultivate the opposite environment on the inside of the body — cool and calm.
According to Ayurveda, the science of health native to India, summer inspires the pitta dosha. The doshas are the bodily humors that help to create one’s individual constitution, and there are three different doshas: vata, pitta, kapha.
Pitta is driven predominately by the solar force, so when the natural cycle of the seasons brings us to the sunny summer months, it is important to pacify the natural pitta inside our bodies so that we aren’t meeting the hot, fiery external climate with a similar internal energy. In doing so, we allow ourselves to enjoy the full excitement and thrill that summer brings, without being flooded by too much of one energetic force.
But how do we balance that pitta energy? During this time of year, a good counter for the sunny weather would be to create a lunar current within the body by focusing on activities and foods that are cooling. This approach will nourish your system and help increase your energy levels.
One of the best ways to encourage equilibrium in your body is through your yoga practice. Here are a few cooling yoga poses you can include in your daily routine:
All of these poses send a calming wave through the nervous system and serve the body’s attempts to self-regulate.
After you complete your asanas, weave in one or both of the following cooling pranayama (breath work):
Food is another essential component to balance the body, as it metabolizes your efforts from the inside, out. Here are a few simple guidelines to follow that will align your eating with the summer season:
Although your body will instinctively crave balance as the seasons shift, it is always a beneficial practice to offer a little assistance. Trust your instincts on these recommendations and always do what feels right for you. Happy summer!
Read on to learn why size really does not matter on the mat, or anywhere else for that matter!