In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the heart is the organ associated with summer and is paired with the small intestine. The element associated with the season is fire and the emotion is joy.
We can use Yin poses to stimulate the heart meridian or as a way to counter the heat of summer. The seated forward folding yin poses are cooling and calming to the body. Great to use when we feel over stimulated by the busyness of Summer.
Yin yoga does not traditionally focus on the upper body organs/meridians but there are ways to stimulate the upper meridians through the yin poses. One of the easiest ways is to incorporate the arms into the poses. For example, extending the arms out in front of the body in butterfly pose or up by the ear in a reclining twist. Another great pose is melting heart (aka quarter dog). In melting heart, we are stimulating the heart meridian through the pressure placed on the arms. You can do this pose by extending both arms at one time or just one arm at time; making sure to do both sides.
Tips for Summer
- Eat lighter, cooling foods such as salads and fresh fruit, like watermelon.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Incorporate activities into each day that bring you joy.
- Practice compassion with yourself and others.
- Take long, calming breaths when feelings of agitation arise.
- Pay attention to when you are feeling tired and take time to rest.
- Take advantage of the warmer weather by walking barefoot outside and absorbing the energy from the earth.