Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Enjoy Summer Outside !

Clearly, summer is characterized by heat.  Under its effects, the body functions better in general, as everything is more open and circulates better.
Be cautious to avoid restlessness and excessive movement, they result in a hyperactive and overheated system.
If we are peaceful and calm, summer will benefit us.  If we are upset and overworked, it will be harmful.

Openness and Communion With Nature

Summer is the time where we don’t have to protect ourselves from the cold.  However we must still protect ourselves from the sun because too much exposure harms the skin (skin cancers are caused by repetitive and excessive sun exposure).

“In summer, take care to regulate activities and limit strong emotions.”

Summer is a special time in the year during which we can spend time in nature with a minimum of clothing, almost none at all.  Strolls in nature, where we are lightly dressed in simple apparel, allow us to feel the forces of the earth.  We feel more in harmony with nature, and have a greater sense of belonging.

Take care of Fatigue

An excess of heat makes energy rise up, into our heads.  We can feel easily overwhelmed by our enthusiasm, and at risk of ‘spreading ourselves too thin’.  This tendency towards dispersion can dissolve our vitality, leaving us feeling fatigued.
To avoid this fatigue, we must treat summer heat with respect and make efforts to regulate our temperature during this period.
We must conduct ourselves similarly with regard to the emotions and the internal heat they can generate.  The heat will feel oppressive if we are worked up or bothered by strong emotions.

“A good diet, the right breathing exercises, 
and a moderate level of physical activity will allow us to best cope with the heat of summer.”

In summer, we must take care of our heart and circulatory system.  We can fast for a few days, or stop drinking for a few hours, hold our breath for a few minutes…but we cannot stop the beating of our heart.
The heat is not an ally for our hearts, for it oppresses and fatigues.
Summer is the period when our cardiovascular functions are most stressed and our circulatory system is most stimulated by environmental heat.
We must ‘tidy’ up our heart, be selective in our efforts and not tire the body out for no reason.
Caution – inactivity and apathy wear on the heart just as much as over activity. 

Take Care of Your Heart!

In summer, when we are at rest, the heat allows our circulating blood to be more fluid and flow easier, because all the blood vessels are more dilated.
However, if we are too worked up, there is too much pressure on this system, leading to over-exhaustion, especially for the heart.
We must be active but not overly so.  If we have plans to carry out made in the spring, we must not allow ourselves to get sidetracked by tiring distractions.  We do what we have committed to, without adding fluff to it.
We often have trouble feeling alive, and often need to be busy enough to avoid boredom.
Enthusiasm can lead us to undertaking too many things because of the illusion we have that putting the pedal to the metal is how to live fully.
When we are engaging in physical activity, we must hydrate much more than often, and eating lighter than usual.

Blockages and Heaviness

If we are not in good shape, summer heat leaves us with blockages and heaviness inside.  These are the result of all the physical tensions and inactivity that accumulate over the year.  This heaviness, the blockages and tiredness paralyze us and must be dissolved; summer is the perfect time to eliminate them with a daily practice.
In order to circulate what is stagnant - whether it be the blood, the energy, or the breath – one must practice simple activities, such as taking a walk three or four times a day, swimming regularly, or going for a jog at an easy pace.
In a week or two, the chosen moderate physical activity will help with restoring good health, as it aligns with the rhythm of the season.

Gaining without disturbing

“Summer: the season where one takes their time.  Fall: the season for man and nature to travel together.  Winter: the season where we count the days.  Spring: the season of illusions; nature is rejuvenated and we believe the same happens to us.”  Aristotle

This is the paradox of summer: we must do without overdoing.  The balance is tricky to grasp for those who are not in tune with the energy of the seasons.
The strength of summer is such that we only have to channel the enthusiasm and natural energy of the season to realize our goals, rather than getting all worked up.
In order to do this, we must have already made concrete plans in the spring in order to follow them through clearly in the summer.
One of the secrets for acting well here is to understand the balance between work and rest.  This truth applies to the entire year, but it is most important during the hot months where the body is already feeling excess.

Take advantage of the heat, but at a slower pace

The heat has an automatic effect on the circulation.  Take advantage on the proper functioning of our systems by not overdoing it.
Avoid bustling about all day.  Rather, do the minimum essential.  Engage in light physical activity, eat lightly and stay protected from the heat.
Summer is also the time for holidays, where relaxation reigns.
We take advantage of the heat by letting our bodies unwind a bit.
Accepting to do nothing is not easy, as most of us feel extreme guilt whenever we are inactive.
We often feel the need to define ourselves by our activity or how much we bustle about…
Doing a lot gives the impression of being, and it satisfied the ego and mind.  However, it is also possible to just take life as it comes, watching it go by.
This is not an excuse for laziness, rather an appeal to just being without the need to hustle.

Rediscovering the ‘Simple’

Summer allows us to feel the joy for life and of having a body more easily.  We are more aware of our perceptions.
The natural relaxation that accompanies summer allows us to contemplate the world around us, to accept life and commit to living simply.
It is a great thing to have access to our senses of breathing, watching, living.

“Summer is a good time to contemplate the joy of being alive.”