Yoga

Restorative Yoga to Beat the Summer Heat

| by Daily Cup of Yoga

Editor’s note:  This is another great guest blog post from Melina Meza, BS Nutrition, 500-RYT

In the summer, which is a Yang time of year from the Taoist perspective, we fill up on solar energy and recharge our internal batteries. During the summer months, it is wise to highlight or guide attention to the heart, small intestines, stomach and spleen. These organs often work overtime in the summer, promoting efficient blood circulation, temperature regulation, digestion and hormone secretion as well as absorbing nutrients from what we bring into our body through food and the senses.

With extra heat and longer days, it is easy to dry up, get angry, irritated or exhausted, especially if work and play are not in balance. So, why not take time to complement what’s going on outside in nature with relaxed, slow, cooling movements, maintaining a playful attitude or even closing your eyes during your asana practice to avoid being competitive with others or yourself? Slow down and move from your intuition, listen from within, to grow and mature during this season of abundance.

Dropping into the restorative aspect of a yoga practice during the summertime encourages us to let go of “trying” to do the pose a certain way and simply lets us be guided intuitively into the right shape or position in order to relax and breathe.

Summer Yin Yoga Practice

This sequence I am suggesting is a balancing, yin practice in that it promotes easy, slow, quiet movement that allows you to visualize and feel where your qi, prana or attention is at all times. With practice, your mind and breath come together to move qi or prana into specific places in your body such as the ligaments, connective issue, or organs, deep in the body.

Find a comfortable place to rest on your back before drawing your knees close to your belly. Take a few moments to close your eyes, relax and unwind, before starting the summer yin/restorative practice.

  • Pranayama with a bolster under your spine: pause and relax after each exhale
  • Supine twist with bent knees
  • Balasana (child’s pose) with forehead resting on hands
  • “Reaching under the bed” pose
  • Mandukasana (wide knee child’s pose with chest on the floor or bolster)
  • Sphinx
  • Virasana
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (mellow version)
  • Sukhasana (meditation seat)

Additional asana sequences, information and products including Melina’s DVD, Yoga for the Seasons, Fall Vinyasa and book, Art of Sequencing, can be found at www.melinameza.com

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Melina has been exploring the art and science of yoga and nutrition for over 16 years. She combines her knowledge of Hatha Yoga, Ayurveda, whole foods nutrition, and healthy lifestyle promotion into a unique style called Seasonal Vinyasa.

What is Seasonal Vinyasa – Yoga for the Seasons?

Seasonal Vinyasa describes an artistic style of sequencing asana and seasonal daily rituals. The main inspiration for Seasonal Vinyasa comes from the Hatha Yoga and Ayurveda traditions, two complementary sciences that promote health in body, mind, and spirit. While inspiring the self-knowledge to adjust day-to-day choices and align with what is occurring outside in nature, Seasonal Vinyasa emphasizes the teachings of the yogis—that there is no separation between humans and nature.