I absolutely love summer. I was born in late June and was always blessed with birthday parties outside of the school year consisting of swimming and running around barefoot. I stayed up until or past sunset with the fireflies of New England and loved the feeling of dewy grass under my toes on hot and humid mornings.
My love for warmth hasn't changed. Even in the middle of July, you'll probably find me in a down jacket in the mornings and evenings, just to stay cozy.
July always arrives too quickly. And I know that within a blink of an eye, August will too. The following thoughts came to me recently and I thought to share them with you. They are 7 ways to make the most out of your summer with the incorporation of elements of yoga. I figure, the more I, we, you, can slow down, be present, and life for this moment, the more likely we'll be able to fully experience and embrace S U M M E R.
1. Building off of the expression, stop to smell the roses. I invite you to look for opportunities to stop what you are doing, open the senses to nature and create space to be present.
2. When the heat gets to you, try cooling breaths such as sheetali pranayama.
3. Watch as many sunrises and/or sunsets as you can. Watch the colors, shapes, movement. Take what you see, close your eyes, and come back to the experience as a meditation. Summer sunrises and sunsets are just the best.
4. Meditate in nature. Listen to the birds, the bees, the rushing river water. You might be surprised at how quickly you settle into a meditative state.
5. Slow down your practice. Summer days often inspire lots of movement. Going, traveling, doing. Moving slowly keeps the body cool while still getting significant muscle engagement.
6. Allow a little extra time in savasana to help your body cool down from your practice. This is especially important on hot days. Maybe place a cool, wet towel on your forehead too.
7. Ditch the mat and practice yoga outdoors in the grass. Notice the temperature of the air, wind on your skin and blowing through your hair. What does it feel like to put your hands and feet on the earth? Outdoor yoga helps us feel connected to the earth and grounded.
I hope you enjoy the above practices.