HEALTHY SUMMER RITUALS: A TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE PERSPECTIVE

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), summer is the most Yang season of all. Here in Australia, it’s an apt time for holiday celebrations. As we emerge from the restfulness of winter, which is Yin in nature, we feel ready and open to engage, play and connect. 

Summer is associated with:

–       Element: Fire

–       Colour: Red

–       Organs: Heart and small intestine

–       Emotion: Joy

These symbolise and inspire creativity, warmth, extroversion, energy, and expansion. When we are balanced in summer, we will feel happy, open, and warm towards others. However, when we are unbalanced, summer can leave us feeling overwhelmed, hyperactive, agitated, and restless. 

To keep your body and mind harmonised this summer, try integrating these simple rituals into your daily life. 

5 rituals to practise in summer

Increase your intake of cooling, yin foods to counteract heat: Think vegetables and fruits with a high-water content (watermelon, lettuce, watercress, cucumbers), white meats and light meals that are easily digested. 

Drink plenty of fluids: Yes yes, we know you know this one, but it bears repeating – fill up a big water bottle and add a dash of lemon in the morning to sip throughout the day. 

Stay calm: Engage in practices that help to keep you calm during this busy, fiery time. Try a few deep belly breaths, yin yoga, or simply having self-compassion and stepping away from difficult situations – if only for a few moments. 

Practice yin yoga poses: Poses that focus on the heart and small intestine meridians are wonderful for finding balance in summer. Think restful heart openers such as lying back on a bolster and poses that stretch the arms and chest.

Rest in the middle of the day: Instead of cranking the air con and powering on, how might it feel to allow your body to rest and digest during the hottest part of the day? Even if you’re short on time, a five-minute lie-down will help to balance the heat’s impact on your body and mind. You could even try a short yoga nidra practice to help you relax when the mind is agitated and it’s difficult to rest. Try this one from Humane Yoga on Youtube.

Words by Jessica Humphries for Humane Yoga

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