> As the seasons change, our bodies move through a natural ebb and flow that creates balance within us. Such changes are normally influenced by the features of the seasons: the hours of daylight and sunshine that we get, different foods which are more available at these times of the year, weather movements, and the various activities inspired by each season. > > Although our bodies adjust to these changes by themselves, it doesn’t hurt to integrate some small modifications into our routine to assist the transition and align ourselves more closely with the season that’s upon us. > > SUMMER > The summer months are full of light and warmth, this year in particular, and the energy of a great summer radiates at a high vibration. To balance this, we must try to cultivate cool and calm inside the body. > According to Ayurveda, which is the Indian approach to science of health, summer brings about the pitta dosha. Pitta is driven primarily by the solar energy, so in summer, it is important to calm the natural pitta inside our bodies so that we aren’t going out into the hot outdoor climate with the same internal energy. In doing so, we can enjoy the full excitement and joy that summer brings, without being overwhelmed by too much of one energy force. > > One of the best ways to encourage equilibrium in your body is through your yoga practice. Moon Salutations may help to achieve this balance. Supported Backbends such as Bridge Pose with a yoga block beneath the low back can also be good or a Supported Shoulder Stand with a blanket or towel under the shoulders to let your neck dip off the edge. Equally, Floor Twists seated or lying on your back can bring about a cool calm. > > All of these poses send a wave of calm through the nervous system and assist the body’s attempts to restore balance. > Of course breath work is also an important part of our toolkit. Although we have not done this in class, Single-Nostril Breathing is an easy to learn breathing technique. This technique isolates one nostril and during summer months we target the left nostril, called the Ida Nadi which is known as the body’s cooling channel and is found on the lunar side of the body. Close the right nostril gently with one finger and breathe in and out through the left nostril for 5-20 breaths. > > Food is another important component to balance the body; it metabolizes our efforts from the inside out. Whilst Ayurvedic cooking might not be for all of us, some of the suggestions used for summer eating are likely to make sense to even the most hardened British culinary aficionado. It can help to eat vegetables and fruits which have a high water content: melons, cucumbers, and leafy greens. We can also keep food light and cool, avoiding those that are dense and heavy, and ones that you need to cook for a long time (or at all). Of course, drinking enough water is always important but also we can try to incorporate herbs and spices that reduce the pitta dosha, including mint, fennel, cumin and coriander. > > Although our bodies often instinctively crave balance as the seasons change, it always helps to offer them a bit of gentle assistance.
Summer term ends on Wednesday 01 August.