Although summer is a season of expansion with many people buzzing from event to event – think festivals, fairs, country shows – or pushing themselves with physical activity, if we actually observe lifestyles in Africa, Asia and South America, we see that many people live life at a more leisurely pace taking their cue from nature to eat, move and live in ways that cool the body and mind.
Similarly, when it comes to summer yoga, you can approach your practise in a more fluid, flowing way that maintains the benefits of your practise while keeping you from overheating or depleting your energy – something I see a lot of students experience at this time of year.
The problem is that today’s world encourages a relentless pace of working and living: lives stuffed with appointments to keep, people to see, places to go, things to do with little change from season to season. Unless we make a conscious decision to take our health and wellbeing into our own hands, then we will continue living out of sync with the earth’s natural rhythm and end up feeling frazzled, fried or maybe at risk of spontaneous combustion – it may, indeed, feel like that! The only concession the modern world makes to respect our needs at this time of year is the summer holiday.
So, although you may well feel like banging out yoga poses and dripping onto the mat or even pushing yourself to more sets in the gym or kilometres on the track or treadmill, just cool it! Add some chilled summer vibes to your practice and s-l-o-w i-t d-o-w-n.
Switch to a lower gear knowing that in this way you are in tune with nature and the cycles of our precious planet. Life as it was meant to be lived during the summer. At least for those of us in the northern hemisphere.
I will be leading a staycation summer yoga and meditation retreat – Five-a-Day the Yoga Way – in Beaulieu in the New Forest on Saturday, 8 August to take beginners and more experienced yogis alike through the main elements that make up a complete yoga practise that nurtures your body, soothes your mind and nourishes your whole life. Come join me to deepen your understanding and completely unwind.
I would love to know how you practise over the summer, so please feel free to post here or on the Portable Guru facebook page.