August 21st - October 21st
Late summer is an important transitional season, a time to re-centre, create stability, balance and comfort, in preparation for the cooler yin stages of autumn and winter.
In yoga we focus on core stability, connecting to the earth and feeling centred.
The element for late summer is EARTH and this rules the Stomach and Spleen, the two primary organs of digestion.
The STOMACH not only receives the food we eat but it also processes emotional and mental food. - think of the phrase, “food for thought”. The stomach is related to self-worth and self-esteem, so make sure you nourish your stomach and in doing so feel better about yourself.
The meridian line runs from under the eye to the mouth, temples, jaw, throat and then down the front of the body and into the outside leg, ending in the second toe.
The SPLEEN is the largest lymphoid organ and responsible for filtering blood. It plays a major part in our immune and lymphatic system, by removing bacteria and waste, releasing iron back into the blood system.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed to be the invigorator, lifting our energy and spirit, affecting our mood and health.
The spleen meridian runs from the inside of the big toe, up the torso, ending under the armpit.
YOGA in this late summer season should focus on foundation, feeling centred, connecting with the earth and rooting down.
Use Mula Bandha (pelvic floor) and Uddiyana Bandha (upward abdominal lock) for stability, strength and focus. Side bends and poses that allow you to surrender to the earth are great at this time of year.
LATE SUMMER LIFESTYLE:
Make some time for yourself after the busy summer holidays. Take a step back and just find some balance and harmony in every day.
Look after your immune system to ward off infections and maintain a healthy digestive system so it doesn’t have to work overtime to do its job.
Boost your lymph by doing inversions or just by having your legs up the wall.
The colour for this season is Yellow, so ensure you eat foods in season such as peaches, squash, peppers, apricots, all of which contain anti-oxidant beta-carotene and vitamins C & E, essential nourishment for the immune system.
Late Summer is a damp time of year so avoid processed or stale foods. Food should be cooked on a low flame or sautéed to bring out the sweetness of the food.
Include lemon, parsley, celery and drink plenty of green and jasmine tea.
Exercise at this time of year should be slightly less energetic than full summer, concentrate on building muscle tone, core stability and balance. Strengthen your legs which are your support and connection to the earth.