Each season holds its particular joy for us to embody. We travel through the seasons like we are walking up and down a hilly path: we walk up a hill until we reach the summit of Summer Solstice, and then down the hill until we reach the valley of Winter Solstice....and then we begin the climb again. When we're in balance, we find beauty in each portion of the path. When we're out of balance, we wish we were on a different part of the path. It's hard to find beauty sometimes when there's a heat index of 115 or a wind chill of -15, but the beauty is still there whether we are able to see it or not.
As we work our way to the Summer Solstice, let's take time to reflect. Pause for a few minutes to make a list of all of your achievements during the last six months. Remember that tiny achievements are as important as grand ones. Then celebrate yourself for these things. You are here, in this beautiful moment at the top of the hill. Just as we celebrate the abundant daylight of the Summer Solstice, let us also celebrate our own unique inner light: it is the best thing about us.
Tips from Ayurveda for a Balanced Summer
When we’re feeling hot, we’re naturally drawn to cooler colors and to bodies of water, as these things balance the sharp and penetrating heat of summer. The same idea can be applied to what we eat during the summer season. Leafy greens, coconut, cucumber, cantaloupe, watermelon, cilantro, and parsley don’t just feel good to eat when the weather is warm, they also cool and hydrate the body to nourish it in ways that counteract the heat. Spicy foods, soups, hot coffee, baked vegetables, and warm pasta just don’t have the same appeal in the summer...and for good reason! Those foods sustain us in the winter, but can make us feel worse in the summer. This is a basic principle for living in balance with the seasons: eat what makes sense for the time of year.
The same principle can be applied to how we organize our days during the summer. The sun is hottest between 10 and 2—the pitta time of day in Ayurveda—so it is best to spend that time engaged in mental pursuits rather than in physical activity. The early morning light is gentler and best for stimulating serotonin, which makes it the perfect time to be outdoors for a walk. In the same vein, spend a little time enjoying the moonlight before bed—during the nurturing kapha time of day—by sitting on your porch or in your yard, noticing the fireflies and the quieting of the birds, and reflecting on the things you are grateful for. (FYI: growing plants like tulsi, lavender, lemongrass, and marigold will help keep the mosquitos away from your moonlight sessions. Wearing sandalwood oil or a mixture of neem and tea tree oils can help as well.)
Find your cooling balance this summer by living in harmony with what the season has to offer.
Living in Balance: Ayurveda Dosha Consultations
Would you like to learn to live more in tune with the seasons and with your own constitution? Consider signing up for an Ayurveda Dosha Consultation. During this appointment, we will talk about what your life practices have looked like since you were small, and from there discuss what feels in balance and out of balance for you, and why. There is no judgment in the practice, as every dosha has its strengths and its challenges: it's all about you learning more about yourself and what makes you content in body and mind. To arrange an appointment, go to erinclairyoga.com and click on "Ayurveda Dosha Consultation."
Upcoming Summer Events & Classes
Sat. June 19 at 9:00AM (CDT): Summer Solstice Event: 108 Sun Salutations (@ Forca Yoga). Nine local yoga teachers will be there to lead you through this celebration of summer.
Mon. June 21 at 6:30pm (CDT): Music Monday Yoga featuring Summer Hits of the '90s (in-person at Forca or via a video link after class)
Mon. June 28 at 6:30pm (CDT): Music Monday Yoga featuring Journey (in-person at Forca or via a video link after class)
Wed. July 7 at 6:30pm (CDT): The Dark Side of Oz event. Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon will be paired with a projection of the Wizard of Oz as we flow to yoga (in-person at Forca or via a video link after class)
Mon. July 12 at 6:30pm (CDT): Music Monday Yoga featuring No Doubt & Gwen Stefani (in-person at Forca or via a video link after class)
Mondays @ 6:30pm (CDT): Music-Based Yoga at Forca or via a video link after class
Wednesdays @ 6:30pm (CDT): Power Yoga at Forca or via a video link after class
Thursdays @ 6:30pm (CDT): Music-Based Yoga at Forca or via a video link after class
Fridays @ 2:00pm (CDT): Meditation online
Saturdays @ 9:00am (CDT): Power Yoga at Forca or via a video link after class