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Summer Solstice Blessings

December 22, 2018

This year of 2018 has been intense!  An ’11’ year (2+0+1+8) – it has been a year of shaking things up, deep transformation and bringing us back to what is truly important in this life.  Many of us have been deeply challenged this year, broken apart and reconstructed in a very different form.   For me, and many others I know, this has been a year of navigating deep challenges, honouring the lessons learned and valuing the moments of peace in between.  We are all changed from the events of 2018 – personally and globally.

Tomorrow’s Summer Solstice (in the Southern Hemisphere) signifies the longest day and the shortest night of the year.  It is mid-summer.  Summer is a time of high energy & activity – there is a buzz around us as we delight in the long & warm summer nights.  It is the yang expression of the seasons when we tend to being social, open & active.   We celebrate, we dance, we laugh!

To be in tune with the summer months we open our hearts, minds and bodies to the warmth and freedom that surrounds us.  Showing & feeling gratitude for the lessons we’ve learned in this cycle and letting go of anything that no longer serves us.  Burning the remnance to nourish & unburden us. 

Align your schedule with the Sun
The days are much longer in summer giving us an opportunity to either stay up later or wake up earlier. Ayurveda advocates going to sleep later in the evening (around 10 or 11pm) to take advantage of the extended daylight and to allow the temperature to cool off for more comfortable sleeping conditions. On the other hand, if you decide to rise with the sun, you may choose to go to sleep earlier (around 9 or so) so you can wake up earlier and start your yoga practice.

Take an afternoon rest 
The idea of the “Spanish siesta” – a midday rest or nap that’s typically taken during the heat of the day – makes plenty of sense in our warmer months. As the heat continues to build up past the noon hour, the hottest time of the day usually hits around 3pm which a perfect time to give our bodies a rest.  By squeezing in an afternoon nap, you are recognising and honouring the power of the sun at its daily peak.

Practice simple sun salutations at dawn (or dusk)
If you choose to rise with the sun, this is the perfect opportunity for you to start your day with several yoga sun salutations since they are best done in the early morning hours on an empty stomach. The sequence of poses that make up the sun salutation are meant to be practiced in the direction of the sun while cultivating gratitude, awe, and respect for it. Start your practice with 8 to 12 sun salutations in the morning at sunrise (or even at dusk during the sunset)

Dance, sing & celebrate
In the warmth of summer we often find postivity and hope flow more easily.  Finding ways to move our body & to share with others helps to nourish our souls and celebrate our triumphs and achievements throughout the year.  If the year has been tough and taken all your inner resources – lay out in the sun and let it restore and heal you.   Ask yourself what are you grateful for?  What have you learned?  How have you grown?  


I hope you allow yourself the freedom to dance and be free this Summer Solstice – let go of control, celebrate, release.

With love & blessings,

Sharna 
xo.

SUMMER PATTERNS

With Summer comes the season for action & energy …

Element:  Fire Organs: Heart/Small Intestine/Pericardium/Triple Heater (metabolism)
Emotion:  Joy
Colour:  Red
Sense-organ: Mouth 
Taste:  Bitter
Sound:  Laughing
Cultivation:  Growth

Common problems: fever, profuse sweating, vomiting, weakness, shortness of breath, wheezing, diarrhea, bloating, irritability, inflammation, headaches

Recommended: watermelon, lemon, apple, pineapple, summer squash, zucchini, alfalfa, spinach & cucumber

Avoid hot, spicy, greasy or overly oily foods, also avoid over consumption of stimulants like coffee, alcohol or sugars (not that easy at Christmas: time!)

nutrition + nourishment relationship + connection values + intention wisdom + love

Winter Solstice Blessings

June 21, 2018

 

Winter is the end of the season cycle – the pause before the birth of a whole new cycle.  It is the time of metaphoric death and renewal – the stillness (yin) just before expression (yang).  Everything in nature appears to be lifeless & to have stopped growing.  Today’s Winter Solstice (in the Southern Hemisphere), signifies the shortest day and the longest, darkest night.  This day and this season are a time to turn inward to the stillness and darkness as a path to find the spark of light that leads us on the path back to the light and warmth as the sun’s warmth starts to grow again.  Surrendering to the stillness on the winter months allows for the potent gestation of the seeds of renewal & to new beginnings. 

To be in tune with the winter months we must become more introspective and storage-oriented; one cools the surface of the body and warms the inner core.  It is time to rest, to meditate deeply, refine our spiritual essence, and store physical energy – in the form of a little added weight for the cold season.  But we must also remember to stay active enough to keep the spine and joints flexible….

Gentle stretching

Our energy tends to become stagnant in the colder weather. Gentle stretching can help to keep the energy moving through our bodies and is a key element of staying balanced and boosting our immunity during the winter months.  Perhaps join a yoga or pilates class or indulge in a few gentle stretches before bed and first thing in the morning.

Energy conservation

Snuggle under the quilt (even if it is on the couch) and indulge in some fabulous guilt-free rest!  Like the bears in their caves, take a tip from nature and take some time out to hibernate.  Conserving our energy when it’s cold outside helps our body to rest & repair and build energy for the warmer months.

Warm, nourishing foods

During winter it is important to keep the chest and lungs warm and relatively dry.  Vegetables that resemble the shape of the lungs are particularly nourishing for them – such as cauliflower, broccoli & broccolini.  Warm hearty soups, whole grains, roasted nuts and steamed wintergreens are also great for boosting your immune system.

Listening to inner wisdom

Flowing on from the slowing of Autumn, the stillness of the coldest months gives us a chance to turn inward and reflect on our wants and needs.  Take regular moments to embrace the silence and listen to your inner wisdom.  Ask yourself where are you heading?  does your course need correction?  what do you need?  what can you give?  

 

WINTER PATTERNS

With Winter comes the season for rest & deep meditation….

Element:  Water
Organs: Bladder/Kidney
Emotion:  Fear
Colour:  Blue
Sense-organ:  Ears
Taste:  Salty
Sound:  Groaning
Cultivation:  Store

Common problems

lumbar pain, hearing difficulties, fluid retention, urinary infections, exhaustion, joint ache/pain

Recommended

warming spices (cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, mustard seed), vegetables that resemble the structure of the lungs – cauliflower, broccoli, broccolini.  Grounding vegetables like carrot, radish, fennel and beetroot.

Avoid

ice cream, yoghurt, cream, potatoes, bananas, chicken

 

I invite you to turn inward this Winter Solstice – to surrender to deep contemplation and travel deep within,