21st June - 21st August
Welcome to the summer season - a time to embrace the active energy of the season. We need to gather this energy and power and store it for the colder months to come.
The energy for Summer is of joy, compassion, happiness and sociability. Be mindful of how you approach your practise and what it is you want to get out of it. At the beginning of your class or practise, set a positive intention and then think of someone or something you love and practise with a smile on your face !
The organs related to this season are the Heart and Small Intestine.
The Heart pumps blood around the body, feeding and oxygenating continuously. It pumps 5 litres of blood (8 pints) per minute!
In the East, it is believed the heart houses our consciousness and spirit, so if our mind is imbalanced, then our blood will weaken - therefore we must fill our hearts with joy to maximise our health and longevity.
The meridian lines for the heart run from the centre of the armpit down the inner arm to the little finger and this organ is most active between 11-1pm.
The Small Intestine is a long coiled organ that works hard to digest food and send nutrients around the body. It is key for nourishment.
In the East it is related to mental clarity and sound judgment. Think of times when you are confused or tense and that feeling of having a knot in your stomach.
For the Small Intestine, the meridian runs from the little finger up the outside of the arm, into the side of the shoulder blade, then around the neck to the hole in front of the ear. It is active between 1-3pm, after lunch when it is hard at work digesting food.
Make your Summer yoga practise invigorating and fun - include postures that work on core strength, building internal heat (agni) which in turn burns impurities and increases energy. Work on arm balances and shoulders to open up the meridians but remember to create balance with calming breath work and ease in your asana.
The core relates to the Manipura Chakra or energy centre within the subtle body. This chakra is depicted as a 10 petal lotus and governs our self-confidence, inner-strength, self-discipline and will power. It is the centre of our vitality and when the energy here is strong and active, it supports good health, balance and strength.
In your summer yoga practise include postures such as Bhujangasana (Cobra), Natarajasana (Dancer), Bakasana (Crow) or Ustrasana (Camel), - these postures are wonderful heart and chest opening poses, great for the core and concentration.
Food in the summer months should be light, fresh, little and often to aid digestion. The colour for summer is red, so eat foods such as tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, blackberries, but avoid red meats, spices and refined sugars.