Summer begins on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, June 21st. Traditional Chinese Medicine associates fire as the element associated with summer, and it has the power to give light, and to provide abundance.
The warmth of summer gives us the power to fully celebrate life in its bounty. It is the season of growth and maturation, of gardens bursting with flowers and vegetables.
Because the power of Fire is felt most intensely in summer, summer may be the best time for you to concentrate on rebuilding the energy consumed during the winter and spring months. As summer activities can sometimes appropriate your relaxation and meditative time, make sure to find a balance between action and being, between social events and time to be in your garden, or relax in your hammock, and allow the earth to nourish you and reset and restore.
How to Keep Healthy and Joyful During the Summer
As summer is a time for play and relaxation, make sure to create time each day to “de-stress.” Take a few minutes and do what I call “calming the breath.”
Exhale completely, then close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a count of five. As you breathe in, imagine that pure, clean air is entering your lungs.
Hold your breath for the count of twenty, imagining that your cells are using this opportunity to empty their waste products into the bloodstream.
Exhale to ten counts, visualizing the waste products exiting from your body.
Engage your senses and socialize. As summer brings with it a myriad of intense colors, sounds, and fragrances, make yourself available to the abundance all around you.
Eat cooling foods, and eat slowly. Enjoy the flavors of the vegetables and fruits in their season. The taste associated with Fire is bitter, so try to include bitter greens like endive, escarole, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard in your diet.
Drink lots of pure, fresh water. The sun pulls the moisture from your pores, so it is important that you rehydrate. Drink eight to ten 8-oz glasses of water a day. If you don’t feel thirsty, force yourself to drink it anyway. DO NOT forget sunscreen spf 50 or above and ensure you are having annual skin checks especially hear in Souther California!
Exercise. A healthy heart needs regular exercise to keep the circulatory system in good condition. Get a good cardiovascular exercise and try to build a sweat, which helps to cleanse toxins from the body. Always consult a physician to get clearance if you are new to exercise.
Most of all ENJOY! Happy Summer Soltice!