Summertime and the Living is Easy, Right? Or is it?
Summertime is when all of the hard work we put in during the year begins to come to fruition. It is the time of year of growth, maturation and expansion. But it can be a challenging time of year for many who are naturally fiery with a quick temper or who tend to overheat in summer's hot sun. Any one of us can overheat much more easily in the summer, so it is particularly important that we pay attention to the heat in our external and internal environment. Luckily, we can use our diet and yoga practice to help moderate our internal temperature to balance out whatever is going on externally. Enjoy some of our favorite practices in our monthly newsletter. Stay cool!
Cool Cooking in Summer:
The General rule for Summer Cooking: is to eat a variety of summer fruits and vegetables, cooked lightly, and to regularly add a little spicy or pungent flavor. Even though the heat tempts you to eat cold food, try to avoid iced drinks and ice cream as these cause contraction and interfere with digestion.
Some suggestions for the hottest days are: Salads, sprouts (especially mung, soy and alfalfa), cucumber, tofu and flower and leaf teas, including mint and chamomile. Some fruits for the summer are apples, watermelon, lemons and limes. Avoid heavy foods on hot days as they will cause sluggishness. Such foods include: meats; eggs; nuts; seeds; and grains.
One of the dietary recommendations that seems counter-intuitive is to add hot-flavored spices to your food in the Summer. The rationale for this is that, even though at first they increase warmth, they ultimately bring body heat out of the surface and cause sweat, which cools the skin. With heat on the surface, your body mirrors the summer climate and will be less affected by it. - Janice MacKenzie, Discovering the Five Elements
Featured Download: Lois Steinberg's Annual Summer Yoga Intensive!
Recorded Live at the Yoga Institute of Champaign - Urbana, Lois recorded her annual week-long intensive. This download includes 7 asana classes and 2 pranayama classes, over 16 hours of instruction! Listen to a sample and download the week-long intensive now! Not ready for the Intensive, yet? Try one of Lois' Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced Classes! We add new ones all the time!
New Asana Sequence: Summer Yin Heart-Lung-Intestine
Compassion is one of the spiritual qualities of the Fire Element of Summer. The Heart, one of the two organs associated with Fire, is the abode of the shen spirits - the presence of Heaven in a human being. Compassion is the ability to love and care about others in an unconditional, ego-less way - to see other people as no different from oneself.....One of the people most exemplifying the path of compassion is Yeshi Donden, the Tibetan physician for the Dalai Lama. EVERY DAY he recites this prayer:
May all living beings be free of suffering and the cause of suffering. May everything I do go to ensure that they be free of suffering and the cause of suffering. May all living beings have joy and the cause of joy. May I be the one to ensure, to remind them they are in fact living in joy and have the causes of joy. May all living beings interrelate fully, lovingly, compassionately and joyously with one another, without any discrimination or partiality of near and far, of like or dislike. May I be the one that does everything in my power to see that they do this. May I be the one to make sure that this takes place.
Repeat this prayer to yourself every morning.
Latest Asana Image: Maricyasana III
Ashtanga Yoga Practitioner, Jill Hindle Keidaisch in Maricyasana III. Check out more photos of HUNDREDS of other Teachers and Students in our Yogi-Sourced Asana Index! Help Build the Ultimate Asana Index! Create a FREE Account and Contribute Your Photos to our Yogi-Sourced Encyclopedia of Yoga.
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