21 June, as I’m sure you are aware, was the Summer Solstice.
The solstice is the most 'yang' day of the year; the height of summer and the energy of fire.
If you take the view - as I do - that humans work in conjunction with nature’s cycles, then it follows on that strong, active, bright and ‘fiery’ energies are most prominent at this time of year.
Any of these resonate with you?
- Are you excitable?
- Feeling creative?
- Joyful or passionate?
- Are you feeling unsettled?
- Getting overwhelmed easily?
- Not sleeping well?
As with all five elements that are in the world around us and indeed in ourselves, it’s important to keep them in balance. In summer, this can help us keep those ‘fiery’ energies that make us feel happy and alive from tipping one way or another into excess or deficiency.
Give these suggestions from Traditional Chinese Medicine a go:
Eat lighter and plainer, and have more bitter foods such as bitter melon.
Keep hot and spicy under control.
Exercise early in the morning or late at night.
Support your fire energy with drinks such as tepid water or mint tea to refresh and maintain hydration.
Avoid intense, sweaty activity that results in over-heating.
You can also try some Yin Yoga to bring balance to the fire meridians of the Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium and Triple Heater. These channels are found in the upper body, so poses such as Eagle Arms (stretches the shoulders & arms), Cowface Arms (opens the chest & arms), Finger Stretches (all the fire meridians start or end in the fingers) and Graceful Bow (for the neck) can be great for getting your qi in balance for the summer.
Check my poses page to see more images upper body poses and remember: Don’t push too far, just to the point where you start to feel a resistance but where nothing is HURTING you. Now see if you can stay with relaxed muscles for around two minutes to get the full affect.