The Yin and Yang of Summer
The taste of summer is upon us. The sun sticks around longer…stretching out the day...teasing us with promise of sweet adventures.
Summer inspires the perfect balance of yin and yang. Yin and Yang represent the flow of energy within and around us- our qi.
Both are important to our overall well-being and when our yin and yang are balanced, we feel happy and centered.
Embrace the inner solitude of yin, perhaps while enjoying a cool glass of iced tea…or partake in a rejuvenating nap as we gently rock in a hammock.
The fiery heat of yang does not stray far when we bask in the hot sun rays or explore a mountainside or meadow.
Summer days urge me to dip my toes into the pool of possibility. I am drawn with a certain amount of excitement to self- improvement, both inner and outer.
; who doesn’t want to shed a few pounds to fit into a new bathing suit? I’d like to tone up my arms and legs, building stronger muscles. I want to take a deep dive into thinking about the foods I feed my body. I want to examine just how deep my spiritual roots have grown, and pull out any pesky weeds which might have slipped by me. What small steps can I take each day this summer to expand my body, mind and spirit?
Join in if you will! There is power in a group, and lots of ways we can support one another- even in a virtual community. Let’s start during these summer months, so we can take advantage of the space between the many moments that are available. Yes, there are still 24 hours in each day, and 60 minutes in each hour- but in summer, time seems to stretch out just a little further.
Let’s think about a few ways we can balance our yin and yang.
Yin: Take time each day to quiet your thoughts. Even spending 5 minutes a day focusing on your breath can decrease stress and promote relaxation. Try this:
Sit in a comfortable position. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four. Breathe out through your nose for a count of four. It’s just that simple!
Do this simple exercise any time during the day or to help you relax when falling asleep at night.
Yang: There are abundant fresh vegetables available in the summer months. Have you ever juiced? The juice from fresh veggies is vibrant, teeming with nutrients, all jumping up and down bumping into each other in their excitement to nourish your body.
We juice most mornings of the week, and the emergent glow we receive is almost palpable, and definitely palatable. Buy organic whenever possible to keep the toxin load minimized.
Here’s a great recipe to try.
4 large washed carrots with tops and stems cut off
½ cucumber, quartered
3-4 stalks of celery
A fistful of parsley leaves
A fistful of kale
A green apple (cored and quartered)
Juice it all together. Makes 2 servings- about 1 cup of juice each.
The fun thing about juice is that you can let your creativity soar and juice whatever vegetables and fruits inspire you. It’s a great way to clean out the refrigerator as well- capturing the nutrients from those fresh foods before they go bad.
So- let the warm winds of summer surround and inspire you. Take a few simple steps to dream your best self into being!
In future blogs we will be discussing various self-care endeavors. I’ll share some of my own health directed practices, and hopefully you will share some of yours.
Enjoy the beauty of a promising summer sunrise, seize the day with gusto and allow the soothing dip of the sun behind the horizon in the evening ready you for a peaceful evening and restorative sleep.
‘Til next time,
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. Provides various free guided meditations.