Involved in the do-ing of summer? You've made plans or maybe you are spontaneous and do what feels right. Responding to our busy environment filled with maximum activity. Our world speeds up with exposure to more sunlight, offering more time for growth, activity, and pleasure. This time of year affords the luxury of pushing ahead, chasing the sunlight and making the most of our moments.
Carving out time for self-care may seem difficult. With so many opportunities to attend BBQs, meet friends at the park, make ice cream with family, or watch a sunset, we may find it difficult to focus on the self-care practices our body craves at this time of energetic output. As the summer begins, it is a gift to ourselves to bring daily yoga practice into our lives. With this practice, we bring an intention of self-care, which we will feel in our evening reflections. Setting up our next day in a positive way for ourselves and those around us ripples into the greater community and world.
Yoga gets us moving and stretches our minds, muscles, and connective tissues. Offering a weight bearing exercise specific to your body, yoga also offers direct benefits to individual organs in our bodies. Through specific yoga postures, we are able to seek optimum body performance during the summer when we may not have control of our schedule or diet. Adding ease in recovering from summer's lush active behaviors, we are better able to reduce inflammation or recovery from hangovers of sugar, alcohol, or lack of sleep.
Finding daily balance with 20 minutes of yoga every day not only enhances our workout beyond the yoga practice, but also ensures that we are moving and realigning our bodies with a system which began development, as recorded in the Rig Veda, one of the four sacred Vedic texts. In the act of including yoga flow movements into a part of our day, we are tapping into the ritual other yogis have practiced and refined over time immemorial. Taking a moment to reflect upon this enables us to feel supported by our community of yogis past and present. Our beings are in line with sacred texts of knowledge and alignment with the sacred is an empowering act.
Bringing balance to our lives is a practice which we all need to maintain equilibrium. Calibrating our personal goals, family initiatives, career, personal space, and relationships brings a sense of ease in our lives. When we tend to these areas of our lives with a regular routine, we are able to act in an informed way. Reacting to life creates a scene for chaos and undefined outcomes. Yoga presents the physical act of practicing process for better health. This foundational practice allows all areas of your life to have attention. With a full spirit and aligned body and mind, we bring integrity, determination, perseverance, and honesty.
It's all about developing good habits.
Are you thinking, "All of this sounds good, but I don't know how to get into the habit (also known as samskara, in sanskrit: संस्कार)?" Samskara translates to a variations of the word habit. Here are other translations of samskara: mental impressions, recollections, or psychological imprinting. Samskaras are a basis for the development of the idea of karma. With this in mind, what you are putting into your habits, you will reap benefits or output of energy. Investing in yourself will result in a result of some positive kind.
Check out this action flow to bring your yoga practice into balance:
- Detaching from the aversions to this or any other exercise practice is the beginning to allocating time to a daily yoga practice.
- Allowing cognitive thought to enter your exercise program and yoga practice. Applying awareness to the benefits of yoga, take your body out of automation, which you may have subscribed to to keep yourself exercising.
- Use your senses and feel the pain, comfort, nourishment, and results of a daily yoga practice. Honor this time to recharge your senses and perform better in the world. Bringing your full awareness to your mornings or before sleeping, enables your brain to orient toward self care and continuation of this path.
- Dedicate a time after yoga practice to meditate. Yoga limbers up our spine and connective tissues. Aligning 7 chakras allows for efficient energy flow from our bodies into the universe. Adding a short or long meditation practice at the end of yoga practice brings a daily opportunity to connect with the universe in our best posture and alignment, allowing for ease of flow in positive energy in and out of our bodies.
- Experience the abundance and gratitude we feel when we complete a daily practice of yoga and meditation. Allowing ourselves to feel the abundance of the expanding universe in our bodies, we feel gratitude in a myriad of ways toward:
- ourselves for supporing a self-care practice
- the trees and plants for nourishing us with oxygen
- our families for supporting us on this journey of life
- our ancestors for creating a path for our continuation
- animals for their relationship with us as pets, food, and biodiversity