Just as seasonal foods are the best nutritional way to balance our bodies (sweet summer berries to cool and hydrate), so Seasonal Yoga is the best way to balance body and mind via breath, movement, mudra and meditation.
During the Early Summer months the powerful sun’s rays digest all things day after day; therefore Kapha decreases day by day and Vata increases consequently.’ — Astanga Hrdyam
Early Summer Seasonal Flows are a time to teach with fun and joyfulness. We should reign the fires of the body, neither letting them ignite (inflammation) nor to extinguish and leave the body in a state of lethargy and toxicity. The ancient Ayurvedic texts tell us that this is the time to make sure to keep the body and mind cool whilst enjoying the natural buoyant and life affirming effects of Nature’s warmth.
We can do this by using backbends, inversions and sidebends. Try to use the entire body, stretching into all four limbs in each posture. Using the arms and legs fully, reaching into the culminating points of the circling flows of Prana along with back bends and inversions creates a dynamic and invigoratingly happy practice that is ideal for the Early Summer.
The focus for teaching can be both music and singing along with taking our time getting into the deeper peak poses and long, quiet meditations. Early Summer is a time to languish! The use of the voice will ignite the Early Summer element in the same way that fuel feeds a fire. The practice of slowing down, taking time and providing silence will give boundaries to the Early Summer element, just like playing in a torrent of cooling garden sprinklers on a hot summer’s day delights and refreshes the mind and invigorates and balances the body’s heating systems.
Pranayama can be both the throat vibrating Bhramari (humming breath) stimulating the neck marma (nourishing the early summer element) and Anuloma/Viloma, with its emphasis on the balancing heating and cooling energies.
Two simple types of breath can be activated at any time during the yoga practice. Inviting more space into the body can be done via a subtle inhale and exhale through the nose. Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth is a great addition to the Early Summer flows at optimal moments when we need to refresh the body and mind.
Using the Bija (seed) mantras can be a beautiful way to invite the correcting qualities in via sound. Sound is the most efficient way to direct Prana and we can use the seed mantra VAM and HAM during our Early Summer practices for a balancing effect.
Because of the motor and sense organs combined, it is a great time to teach a simple mantra such as OM or more advanced mantra or kirtan and to remind students about the role of hydration before and after class and the advice to avoid drinking during classes.
The colour blue and orange are balancing during Early Summer. Our eyes pick up the vibrations of the light, which are vibrating at the same length as the area of the throat and the pelvis.
The music we choose for our classes can be a metal percussion or gongs and the human voice, mantras, kirtan or simple silence or partial silence during classes and any other music that blends these for a balancing effect during Early Summer. We have a short sample here of some beautiful Early Summer tunes to ‘tune in’ to the Early Summer vibe!
Surrendering to the unconscious depths of our psyche and exploring our own natural creativity are two themes that work well in Early Summer. These themes can be used invite reflection within a pose or to inspire an Early Summer workshop.
If learning about Ayurveda and it’s link to yoga in the classroom inspires you, and you would like to become a student of the Pranacharya Seasonal Yoga Advanced Teacher training – please visit this page for more information.