YOGA IN PARADISE
The sun is leaking rays of gold
caressing silky skin
perspiring in summer’s humidity
beckoning you to swim.
'Summer Splash' - Persian Kushi
Yoga and Ayurveda offer up the stability and balance we need to draw upon through all the seasons. With the blessings of summertime upon us, it’s an exhilarating time to explore our practices in such a divine island environment that is so forgiving, nurturing and nourishing. We bask and revel in beauty while the time of Pitta is upon us, the season of excess heat and high activity. Ayurveda provides us with a treasure trove of medicinal suggestions and remedies to treat the imbalances that will occur at this exhilarating time of the year. Yoga provides the support to consciously enjoy and appreciate the utter beauty and energetic lift of spirit we receive through the summer.
Our senses are heightened through these ambrosial months as we soak in the sunshine like liquid love under the bluest of blue skies, bare our bodies to be caressed by the warm breezes, swoon in the warm waters that lap our shores. The juices of fresh fruit slurp and dribble down our chins, and our plates are full with heaping salads and fresh vegetables that sing with delectable goodness. Music wafts through our sleeping nights and we dance in our dreams, alone in our yards and gardens, and with each other, absorbing sound and movement. We fall in love all over again with our surroundings and the people we share this sublime time and place with. We’re aglow and our senses are alive with receptivity during summer and the name of the Yoga game is to observe our sensual pleasures with delight and moderation. There is a beautiful meditative practice called Pratyahara Mudra that soothes, balances and restores the mind and body. With the hands and fingers gently covering up the ears, eyes, nose and corners of the mouth the focus of the mind is on the breath, drawing awareness inwards and bringing rest and withdrawal to the senses. This followed by a cup of mint tea or lime water will cool your jets and give you a renewal of energy while calming the mind. The scents of Rose, Sandalwood and Vetivert will add to this. Alcohol, coffee, fats and sugars will send you in the other direction, heating up and over-stimulating your system, creating burn out and exhaustion.
Yoga Asana through the summer should bring qualities to your daily movement that are grounded, neutral and cooling to avoid over-heating and its negative effects on our moods, tempers, nervous and circulatory systems. Choose an airy place to practice indoors, or a place outdoors that is breezy and offers up shade. Choose asanas that are cooling during the high heat of the day, or those that strengthen your system in the morning. Study up on your pranayama and experience breathing the freshest of air on earth, and take on those ancient and simple practices to cool your affairs. All summer long plunge into balance poses, forward bends, supported backbends, twists, and add a Moon Salutation to your practice. Move through your Sun Salutation slowly and with absolute devotion. Make Shavasana, your heavenly resting pose, a great refuge.
Summertime (in paradise) is a fruitful time to develop and celebrate your personal practice. The season encourages this with warmth, early morning sunrises, memorable sunsets, and long days full of sunshine, everything pulsing with growth. We have a natural, heightened connection to our surroundings in summer. When you take your practice off the mat, feel the earth vibrating with life beneath your feet, swim like a fish, breathe deeply, soak up the sun’s energy, smell the flowers, sing with the birds, taste the sweetness of life and be at one with the spaciousness of your mind, body and soul. Let your wellness shine in the light of day and be at rest through the warm night.