Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon
C. Day Lewis
For many of us, summer is a time of relaxation and letting go of routines and responsibilities. School is out, vacation is on, the days are long. We skip out the door in flip flops – without a jacket. Warmth and light invite us to stay awake, go outdoors, get in the water, stop – and smell the roses. For some, it makes no difference to our yoga practice. We continue as usual. For others, it’s time to give it a break and do summertime things instead.
Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability
When it’s hot outside, coming inside to the hot room may seem less appealing than it does in cooler months. Here are a few tips for staying cool and maintaining summer practice:
- Try an early morning practice – It’s light outside at 6:30am, so coming to the early class is not as daunting as it may be in winter. Slip into the studio while the earth is still cool, and start you day with a Moksha or Flow class. Your practice will be done before breakfast time, and before the heat of the day sets in.
- Hydrate – For best results, stay hydrated throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you and sip, sip, sip. For your practice, try adding a tiny pinch of salt and a splash of fruit juice to your water bottle. After class, keep on hydrating. You’ll feel more energetic, and you’ll be better able to regulate your body temperature inside the hot room and out in the world.
- Take it easy – If you are feeling drained by the heat outside, give yourself space in your practice to not push it to the max. Take rest, drink water, let go of expectations, allow your breath to guide you to a practice that’s right for your body and mind today. Take heart in the knowledge that you are taking care of yourself in the best way that your body knows.
- Think cool, feel cool – Calm the chatter of your monkey mind by letting go of distracting thoughts. Allow your breath to wash over and through you like waves in the ocean. Soften your gaze and tune in to the warm breeze of community breath. Summertime can be cool inside the hot room!
- Enjoy the benefits of acclimatization – Hot yoga practice can actually help you to be more resilient during hot weather exertion, at work, in sports, or in leisure activities. As you sweat your way through vinyasa flow, know that it will be that much easier to get up the Grouse Grind on a summer Sunday afternoon because of your work in the hot room.
Laughter is an instant vacation
Going away for a holiday doesn’t have to mean taking a break from your Moksha practice. Moksha and Modo Yoga studios can be found all over North America. It’s great to take a break from sightseeing, shopping, touring and dining for a quiet hour on the mat. The familiarity of your Moksha practice in an unfamiliar setting can add a whole new dimension to your holiday experience, and give you some time just for yourself. Be sure to mention to the reception staff that you are from Moksha Burnaby. It’s likely they know some of our instructors from training or travel experiences of their own. They will be delighted that you took time to visit from out of town and welcome you as a special guest.
Before you leave on your vacation, ask about a Traveller Pass. If you have a membership at Moksha Burnaby, a Traveller Pass will allow you may take practice at any other Moksha/Modo studio worldwide. You can find a studio near your destination on the Moksha Yoga International website.
If you have out-of-town visitors this summer, bring them to the studio. They can practice the first time for free. It’s a great opportunity for you to show your friend or family member just why you love hot yoga so much!
Nature is not a place to visit, it is home
Summer is the perfect time to take your yoga practice out into nature. In your own backyard, at the neighbourhood park, or in some wonderful place that you are visiting, you can enjoy the benefits of yoga. If you have been practising for a long time, you may know the Moksha sequence well enough to lead yourself through it outdoors. A simpler approach is to find one pose that you know and love, and enjoy it in an outdoor setting. Savasana is a natural, but maybe try cobbler’s pose, or tree pose. Linger in the pose. Feel the earth under your bare feet, enjoy the breeze across your face, gaze at the clouds or the stars – it can be magical. Still another way to do this is to take a mindfulness walk. Walk quietly through the woods or along the shore. Gently dismiss any pesky thoughts and focus on your breath and sensation. Listen to your body and be present in the place and time where you are. That is a summer yoga feeling.
Summertime at the Studio
By now you are probably well-accustomed to the summer schedule. Summertime hours are adjusted to suit demand and make time for staff and instructors to enjoy time with their friends and families. It’s also a chance for you to change up your routine a bit. Try a different kind of class, or a different day or time. You may discover an unanticipated “perfect fit.” Watch for information about special classes and events in the summer. Coming up next is Yoga On Tap at Steamworks Brewery in Burnaby, on July 30.
Whatever summer means to your yoga practice, may it be satisfying and nourishing to you through July, August and into September. May your summer be sweet and sweaty.