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Summertime Fire Relationships, Routine & Spontaneity Live Yoga Classes, FREE Intro to Iyengar Yoga Series, Summer Intensives with Lois Steinberg, Intermediate Yoga in Fiji with Elise Miller & More! The ability to relate to other people arises from the fire energy of the summer season. The emotions of the summer season encourage fluidity, flexibility and going with the flow. Summer is the season we spend more time with family and friends and highlights the strength of our relationships. During a season when it feels like everyone is on vacation or at a party, if you are not, it can feel a little disheartening or lonely and points to a need to strengthen your fire energy.
Welcome Summer! With the Memorial Day weekend, we officially welcome the summer season. For many of us, the start of summer means a lack of routine or a total change in schedule, especially if you are in the academic profession or have kids in school. Everything is upended in an instant! And for some of us, this is fantastic! We need a change of schedule to break up the routine, but sometimes this can feel like too much change and might be disorienting.
Last month may have been the first month since we started iHanuman (15 years ago!) that we did not send out a newsletter and I realized it was probably time that we let you all know about some things we have been up to. We have all been transforming through this period of time, we have to! And we have all had difficult circumstances to navigate. I have shared about some difficult family circumstances that I have endured which is requiring me to show up in different ways for my family and my community. This impacted me so much that I took a sabbatical from teaching this winter for the first time since I started teaching 20 years ago!
Ahhh! The shift into late summer and early fall is finally upon us. August was a heat wave! I had the opportunity to take some time away and visit with family and friends at the beach. We have been hunkered down in our remote rural Virginia farm location for almost the entirety of the past two years and it was a relief to enjoy of a change of scenery and a cool ocean breeze. I was literally going to melt.
Summer is in full swing! And not only is it hot (and humid), but everyone’s routines have shifted. We are the stewards of a 10-acre farm in central Virginia, so we are outside as much as possible, planting and harvesting fruit, flowers and herbal medicine. The change in seasons affects different people differently. Some people enjoy heat more than others. You will find me under shade and out of the sun between 10 - 2pm, but my husband LOVES doing work outside during the heat of the day. Summertime is an opportunity to pay attention to the heat and what affect it has on you.
As we have talked about in previous articles, summer is represented by the Fire element which is our passion, joy, creativity and the quality of our relationships. This period of time of social distancing makes some of these aspects of summer challenging but we must keep these important qualities at the forefront during these fleeting months. For example, now is a great time to dig deeply into connecting or reconnecting with what brings you joy; to discover or rediscover some areas of life about which you are truly passionate.
Here we are again at the end of what has proven for me and my family to be quite a challenging year. We are encouraged to practice renunciation as we enter the last few weeks of the year or the letting go of the results of our efforts. This is the foundation of yoga as we read Sutra I.12 in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - abhyasa vairagyabhyam tannirodhah - "Practice and detachment are the means to still the movements of consciousness." - BKS Iyengar
As we discussed last month, Spring not only brings with it the ability to plan and organize, as the time of year of Liver/Gallbladder Energy. But now is the time to lighten the load on these organs by consuming more of the fresh green (and sour) foods that are in season. One of the best things about these foods being in season, is that they can also be foraged and free. As long as you have access to an organic wild meadow, you can find dandelion greens, chickweed and violets everywhere you look!
Even though it is almost 90 degrees where I live in central Virginia, we have now officially transitioned into early Fall. If you cannot yet feel it in the temperature, you can see it in the colors of everything around you. What was lush and green a few weeks ago has started to turn yellow. Aptly, this is the color of this time of year, the color of the stomach and spleen meridians, our digestive organs, the Earth Element.
I made it through another Mother’s Day, but this year was different. I have been inspired by women around the world who are sharing about their struggles with Mother’s Day; mothers who have lost children, women who have lost mothers and women who are not able to be mothers. Mother’s day has always been difficult for me, since I lost my mother, tragically, 28 years ago, just months before my thirteenth birthday. Once I recovered from the shock of the loss, which actually took about 5 years, I finally started to grieve. That grief, for me, has taken the better part of the last two decades. Thankfully, however, for about the last ten years, I have been deeply committed to healing that pain.
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