In England, summer is a very special time. Its contrast to the coldness of winter can provoke an almost manic state of mind as we try to appreciate everything summer has to offer. It may be hard to continue your yoga practice when all you want to do is be outside, sipping Pimms in the garden, or you feel too hot already to get even more sweaty. Yet summer offers benefits to practicing yoga which we can take advantage of.
A prime example is that we can enjoy the opportunity to practice outside and reconnect with Mother Earth; remember,contact with dirt has not only medicinal benefits, but can also be healing and feeling the energy of the ground through the palms of your hands and soles of your feet can be a truly refreshing experience.
Of course, as we all know, when it is warmer, we are more flexible.When heat penetrates the air, it helps loosen up the body and provides an opportunity to go further into your poses.
In addition, hot yoga enthusiasts also report enjoying the detoxification they get from an intense hour of sweating, or the perception of working harder, so that’s something we can all experience when the weather heats up.
Don’t forget too, that when the temperature soars, it is even more important to keep your mind at ease because a stressed mind overloads the system. This is when yogic meditation and deep breathing can provide deep rest to the mind.
Yoga also helps the body remain hydrated, fluid, and flexible as we age. Science has found that elements called fibroblasts produce molecules which attract and hold water in our tissues. This ability decreases as we age however, so the best approach to counteract this effect is to stimulate the growth of more fibroblasts. We can do this easily because we know that fibroblasts are stimulated through stress (such as squeezing, compressing, and stretching the connective tissues) and this is exactly what yoga does!
So there are many benefits from continuing our yoga practice through the warmer months, but we must be realistic; any physical activity increases body temperature which is why we shouldn’t do excessive asanas when it is very hot. Early in the morning or late in the evening are the best times to do yoga asanas, during the summer.
I hope you continue, throughout the summer to work on your yoga practice and reap the rewards of such a special season.
Notice to yogi/nis who booked a block of lessons before half term; with only 2 weeks of term left, please use any remaining credit by the end of term, Monday 31 July.
For those of you who want to keep up your yoga practice during our summer break; Simon Borg-Olivier from Yoga Synergy is running a few workshops in London In August. Simon is undoubtedly the greatest master of yoga i have had the privilege of being taught by. His PhD in Human Biology and Evolution will help you take your practice to the next level. It is truly an honour to have him as a teacher. Don’t miss it….!
I would like to leave you with a though during our summer break: in yoga, they compare the mind to an elephant. An elephant can destroy an entire village If it’s not trained properly, If it’s out of control, just like an out of control mind can destroy an entire human being’s life and others associated with it. But a trained elephant can literally do the work of a thousand men and women just like a trained mind can benefit the entire planet, all of humanity. The yogis teach us and tell us that the more we align with serving others, the more we give to our planet, to our fellow sisters and brothers, the less suffering there’s going to be and the more joy we are going to feel.
Om Shanti