“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” —Hermann Hesse
Those who know me well know that I’m best served chilled. Heat affects my constitution pretty dramatically and immediately. I do not like saunas, yoga on the surface of the sun, or lying around on a lawn chair browning like a turkey.
Alas, I have not found a way to control the seasons.
And here we are, in the heat of the summer. All week I could feel the heat
rising. Thanks to my yoga practice, I am really aware of the subtle sensations
of imbalance: My stomach started churning.
I felt thirsty and hot no matter how much I drank. I noticed impatience with
myself and irritation with life’s minor glitches. Everyone was on my proverbial lawn (kids these days).
Yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda, would call this an excess of pitta, or the fire/water
element. We won’t get into that here, but basically: I was too hot. Too hot in
the body, too hot in the breath, too hot in the mind. One aspect gets out of balance and the others tend to follow. Have you noticed this?
Yoga teaches us to create balance in the body by working the opposite. We do this during practice, but it's really much more important to apply off the mat. So I did. I declared my day off a pitta-cooling day. I canceled my plans to run around outside and accomplish a long list of chores. I disappointed some, but I listened to my intuition and brought myself back into balance.
Here’s what I did:
- Woke up early and took a walk before the sun rose.
- Went to a grounding yoga class with my favorite instructor. Practiced to 50 percent of my physical capacity. Took child’s pose in place of down dog.
- Refreshed with mango coconut water. I put it in a wine glass to be fancy.
- Took a cool shower with eucalyptus and did a sea salt scrub and massage with coconut oil.
- Prepared myself a large fresh salad with bitters, apples, walnuts, with a side of cucumbers and hummus.
- Did legs up the wall pose for 20 minutes after eating and again before bed. I put on an eye pillow I made, infused with chamomile and lavender oils.
- Listened to some soothing music and sipped chilled water with cucumber.
- Chilled my chill-able neck wrap and applied as needed.
- Retired early with a good book (and a fan set to high).
Worked like an absolute charm.
Sound good? I’m offering a cooling mindful vinyasa class on
Saturday morning at Moksha Lakeview (8:30a-10). We’ll do some slow flow, release
fire in the belly with some twisting, cool the mind with some forward folding,
and enjoy a nice long restorative sequence. I would love to see you! However
you do it, choose to listen to your intuition and nourish yourself this
weekend. Bring yourself into balance and I bet you'll find it's easier to bring balance and peace to those around you. And just by attending, you are bringing more good into this world, as all of my earnings will be donated to help this brave young man go to college. Practice yoga to remember that we are all connected.