Summer heat. We haven’t been blessed the sunniest summer so far, but the mercury is slowly climbing, and the London underground commute is getting stickier by the day.
The cold that permeates our very bones throughout winter is truly thawed now, and the body is returning to a softer, more supple state, as we no longer need to brace ourselves against the cold. People are gathering outside on their lunch breaks from work, and offering their skin up to the sun gods, soaking in the solar energy through their pores. Days can feel endless and full of adventure and possibility. Aside from the actual weather, the summer season can provoke the internal heat of activity; so much to do and celebrate, the garden to be looked after, elderflower cordial to be made, festivals, parties, and weddings to plan and attend. It’s the season of celebration and intoxication carried in the scent of the flowers and herbs that are blooming all around us.
On the flip side, the heat of summer, both internal and external can be tiring and overpowering. The journeys on public transport becoming uncomfortable, headaches from long days in the sun can take their toll, and the increased social activity can begin to drain our energy reserves.
For this month’s pose I have chosen the restorative posture viparita karani/ Legs up the wall (or in this case, on a chair) pose. A beautiful posture that helps to settle the spine, refresh tired legs, and gently boost the circulatory and lymphatic systems. The thing I like most about this posture is that it requires no warm up or effort, and offers us a chance to become truly still and receptive in the midst of the summer haze, helping to cool our system, rebalance our energy levels and spend time with ourselves for a while before stepping out into the fray.
- Lie on your back, using any padding to make yourself comfortable.
- Prop your legs up so that the feet rest above the heart, either bringing the feet to a chair, or resting the heels up against a wall.
- Close the eyes as you soften and release the effort out of the body.
- Take your attention to your breath and allow yourself to be fully absorbed by the sensation of breathing, the rise and the fall of the belly.
- Feel the coolness of the inhale through the nose, and the warmth of the exhale.
- Stay like this for several minutes, keeping the mind fairly still and free from to do lists etc. Just enjoying the breath.
- Come out when you feel ready and revitalised.
By Jasmine Pradham
Jasmine holds a 200hr RYT certification, is fully insured, and is a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals- (REPS). She teaches Hatha yoga (sometimes dynamic, sometimes slower) with an open heart and an open mind. She believes that every individual already has the tools they need to achieve true happiness and wellbeing, and that sometimes they just need a little help discovering them. She truly believes that a dedicated yoga practice can be the key to that toolbox, and aims to facilitate that discovery for her students. Owner of Stretch and the City.