MYndful Musings | 1st June 2020
Summerdaze thoughts.. Earth & Fire
It’s June 1st and that marks the start of Summer. According to Ayurveda (yoga’s sister science) this time of year is dominated by the element of fire. And although many of us feel we thrive in this abundance of daylight and heat (please let it stay), it can be a time when we may need to watch that our fire doesn’t get out of control. In Ayurveda they do this by balancing this fire with the other elements through the qualities of the food we take in and the activities we undertake. Summer practices are all about sustaining & maintenance, in harmony with the way nature sustains it’s abundance during this season.
My current flow has a real earthy quality to it perfectly balanced with light transitions & a little strength. As many of us may still feel our foundations are still somewhat unstable I hope you are finding it keeps you grounded and in balance. Let’s explore this idea a little further..
How’s your roots?
In my previous blog posts I’ve talked about what it means to be a yogi off the mat. To practice self-study in order to achieve balance within & live in harmony with the world around (ultimately recognising that this is the same thing).
So what is it that prevents us from doing this with ease?.. why is it a life long practice? If we look at Chakra theory we can shed a little light on what ‘doing the work’ really means. Think of a chakra as a ‘layer of being’..sort of like our Koshas we talked about in the last blog. For inner wisdom to prevail each layer needs to be in balance. As humans in the modern world, balance isn’t always something we are good at maintaining.
The base chakra ‘Muladhara’ is your root connection, your stability in life. This chakra is our primal instincts. Our drive to survive. To eat, rest, move & have our basic needs met. When we feel that this stability is under threat it can bring up feelings of anxiety and we can become self-protective preventing us from considering anything beyond ‘the self’ (sound familiar? yeah me too, this is something we are all dealing with right now). So in order for us to move beyond a ‘fight or flight’ defensive response we must try to recognise that these things are not under threat, that we are ‘ok’. Not always so easy.
<Try reciting this mantra to yourself in a mindful practice>
“I am grounded. My spirit is grounded deep in the earth. I am calm, strong, centred & peaceful. I am able to let go of fear and trust that I am eternally safe. I am worthy of all things beautiful”
Mantra for Muladhara
This layer of being is concerned with the ‘self’, the physical body (Anamayakosha), and the material things in the world. These things are very important for us to feel safe & secure in Muladhara. When we find balance here & have stability we can begin to live beyond in a more awakened state.
Tap into Summer’s fierce energy to get stuff done..
As this time of year is naturally dominant in the Ayurvedic quality of ‘Pitta’ you might find that if you ride that natural energy you will be getting tons done. It’s a great time to tap into that abundance.
- Do stuff you have been putting off. Clear out the cupboards, tick off the to-do list.
- Make decisions. Trust your gut and then let that fire help you be decisive & confident in your decisions.
- Get organised. It’s a great time to create schedules or map out your time to feel like you are on top of your game.
- Start new mini self-care rituals knowing that you’ll have the drive to keep them up!
- Eat what nature provides at this time of year to stay balanced- peas, celery,cucumbers, leafy greens, sweet berries, mint. Summer is one of the only seasons in which Ayurveda advocates eating raw food.
- Get outside, leave your phone at home, explore the abundance of nature all around right now.
- And finally, try some of our new yoga classes. Especially if you are a creature of habit, it is always good to try practicing at different times of day or checking out a new teacher. Variety is the spice of life right now. Use all that energy to explore your body & practice daily.
Fierce with Grace not Rage
If you feel like all that heat and drive is getting a little out of hand and turning into a forest fire.. time to cool it down a little.
- Don’t react. If you feel anger or frustration rising in you. Pause, step back & breathe.
- Gentle exercise like mellow or restorative yoga, walking near water or swimming are great ways to cool pitta energy.
- Consume cool watery foods like cucumber, melon, lettuce, apples and pears. Herbs like coriander, basil & mint are also cooling.
- If you feel like your ‘pitta-pants bossy-boots’ side is taking over, try stepping back and letting someone else make the decisions, practice listening and cultivate softness & serenity, playing water sounds can help with this.
- Surround yourself with people who you find calming and grounding, rather than those you find add fuel to your fire. Be open to learn from those people-observe how they react. I always notice when I am around those calming earthy people it changes my energy too.