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  • Leah Kolar

Summer Harmony : Part I

The warmth and light of summer is upon us! The cleansing and awakening effects of spring effortlessly lift us into the abundance and vitality that is Summer. Sunshine nourishes our whole being, cultivating boundless energy to socialize and explore our creativity. All of nature is in full bloom! Physically and spiritually, we want to fully absorb the essence of the sun. We crave basking in it's warm rays, and absorbing energy from the lightness of day. Summer is a time of powerful heat; which can bring us to exhaustion when felt in excess. Balancing the qualities of summer to maintain harmony with nature is a natural, cyclical pattern in our human behavior. Our modern lifestyles have allowed us to achieve a certain level of comfort that has also drawn us away from being in unison with, or even noticing, the cycles of nature. My intention is for you to reap all the benefits of summer, while remaining cool, collected, and grounded. The qualities and characteristics of each season will express different effects on our bodies as well as the environment. To maintain union and harmony, it's important to acclimate to each season without altering the body's homeostasis. In Ayurveda, this concept is referred to as Ritucharya. Sanskrit translation: Ritu= season; Charya= regimen. Altering our lifestyle habits and rituals is something we all do naturally. For example, winter is an innate time of darkness and hibernation, during which we are drawn to warm, spiced foods. We may find it more essential during the winter to keep a vigorous workout routine to create heat in the body to balance the cool, dark, yin qualities of winter. On the contrary, we tend to eat more cooling, unctuous foods in the summertime, and may avoid excessive exercise to balance the high heat, excess light, and yang properties of summer.

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Moon Awakening Breath Chandra Bhedana

To calm excess energy in the heat of summer, try this pranayama, or breathing technique, to activate the energy channel that calms and cools. Awakening the frequency of the moon may also aid those who are having trouble falling asleep at night. Take a seat in a comfortable position. Sit up tall so your spine is long; rooted down through the tail bone and extending up through the crown of the head. Exhale completely. Covering your right nostril just under the bridge of your nose, inhale through your left nostril. Then, covering your left nostril, exhale through your right nostril. Taking long, slow, deep breaths, continue this rhythm for several minutes before returning to your natural breath. Notice the effects of this practice.

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