Every season change brings along a new energy. And while it doesn’t quite feel like summer outside yet here in NEPA, Summer Solstice is right around the corner.
Here are 5 reasons to commit yourself to practice this summer:
Go with the Flow of the Season: In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Summer is connected to the large muscles of the body, the heart and circulation. This is great new for toning up. That proverbial “summer body” is actually easier to attain in summer than in winter. The muscles are more receptive to toning and circulation is strong, making summer the ideal time for the physical aspect in Hot Yoga.
Of course, everything in balance, so be sure to stay hydrated as the hotter days approach.
Tummy Travels: Yanni and I took two international trips - in opposite directions - in the month of May! We were in Costa Rica leading our Hot Yoga Retreat and then we attended the Cannes Film Festival. I love to travel, but it sure can cause some discomfort in my tummy! Different foods, time changes, a new schedule, and an interrupted yoga regiment all effect digestion. The ancient yogis believed the root of disease was linked to poor digestion. (And they didn’t just mean on the physical level - but more on that another time!)
Sticking with your yoga routine keeps your digestion in good working order. I have the absolute best travel days when I can practice on that same day - either before leaving or upon arrival. When the body is sedentary, the Qi flow, your life force energy, also slows. This leads to poor digestion. A steady yoga routine both leading up to your travels and immediately upon return will help keep everything running smoothly. And that is always good where digestion is concerned!
That Hotel Bed: Lets be honest. We all enjoy sleeping in our own beds with that perfect pillow we searched high and low for to get the best night’s sleep. Traveling introduces new sleeping arrangements with can aggravate even the healthiest back. The Hot Yoga sequence is designed not only to bring strength and suppleness to your spine, but to keep your skeleton in place. A steady practice also helps mitigate stress and anxiety that comes with preparing for travel and getting back into your routine. Keep a clear mind and a happy body this summer with hot yoga!
Put Your Best Foot Forward: I spend a large part of my day barefoot inside the yoga studio. I love grounding onto my mat, spreading my toes and tuning into my feet at the start of each class. Summer sandals do a number on my feet. Whether from walking on the beach or up and down an ancient cobblestone city, my calves and achilles tendons tighten up. For some of you, this can exacerbate chronic plantar fasciitis. Sticking with hot yoga keeps the joints lubricated, the tendons and ligaments more supple and your muscles adequately stretched out. It also helps with circulation from being on your feet all day exploring a new city or strolling on the beach.
Success through Structure: My favorite part of travel is also the most challenging for me - the change in routine. I thrive on structure. It's why I love Hot Yoga and Barkan Method Vinyasa - you know what you are going to get. I love that about class. I create structure and routine in all areas of my life. Consistent yoga practice, meal schedules and sleep routines help me feel my best. You name it, I schedule it. I see many many students thrive on routine too. Consistent practice of twice a week or more reaps better results versus practicing once a week or less. Committing to a rhythm also helps you maintain your benefits.
Travels throws the comfort of routine right out the window. Yes, I soak up the new scenery and new ideas, opportunities and experiences. But the lack of structure triggers anxiety if I’m not mindful. Regular Hot Yoga keeps me mindful.
Our Summer Solstice Rooftop Meditation is a favorite summer event for all levels. We celebrate the longest day and the start of summer with Qigong and Meditation on the Mulberry Building Rooftop at sunset.
For me and many of our students, summer means enjoying life feeling our best through Hot Yoga! See you at the Studio!