Feeling HOT HOT HOT!
“The heart is the emperor of the human body. Its subordinate officers are in charge of the nine orifices and their related functions. As long as the heart remains on its rightful path, the nine orifices will follow along and function properly. If the heart's desires become abundant, however, the eyes will lose their sense of color, and the ears will lose their sense of sound. Thus it is said: 'Keep your heart empty - this is the art of the heart through which the orifices can be mastered.’” From the Daoist classic, Guanzi, prior to 200 B.C.
Summer is my FAVORITE season. The abundant heat feels amazing on and in my body, the ebb and flow of the ocean balance my internal and external happenings, and the extra sunlight kisses my creative spirit as I soak up the light and love that surrounds us. Alas, even with summer’s succulent offerings, as with every season, balance is the key. In Chinese Medicine, the season of Summer is associated with the Heart. A balanced energetic emotion for the organ is what we are working towards. In summer, this would be a moderate amount of JOY in the heart. Next time you hear “How are you?” Your response can be, “Moderately joyous, thank you.”
The summer heat gives us the opportunity to honor and celebrate all of nature’s bounty. As what’s inside of us and what’s in the gardens grows and matures to ripe and juicy fullness, use this time to connect with others outside in the world. As you hang with your peeps, remember to tend your own garden in an equal and sustainable way. Pull out your weeds and show up to the BBQ with an inner fire that is glowing, radiant and joyous.
The legendary Yellow Emperor, regarded as the founder of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has these instructive words about the season of summer in the ancient text, The Yellow Emperorʼs Classic of Internal Medicine:
“In the three months of summer there is an abundance of sunshine and rain. The heavenly energy descends, and the earthly energy rises. When these energies merge, there is intercourse between heaven and earth. As a result, plants mature and animals, flowers, and fruit appear abundantly. One may retire somewhat later at this time of year, while still arising early. One should refrain from anger and stay physically active, to prevent the pores from closing and the chi from stagnating. One should not overindulge in sex, although one can indulge a bit more than in other seasons. Emotionally it is important to be happy and easygoing and not hold on to grudges, so that the energy can flow freely.”
These words were written about four thousand years ago, and are as relevant today.
The Fire element is the spark from which all of life derives, and the emotion associated with Fire is joy, which, when in balance, represents an overflowing enthusiasm for life. An excess of Fire, however, can create hyper-excitability and restlessness, while a deficiency of Fire can produce a lack of joy and a feeling of apathy. The color associated with Fire is red; the climate of Fire is hot; and the sound connected with Fire is the sound of laughter.
As the summer days begin to shorten, we are nearing the bonus season, Late Summer! My favorite concept to teach in yoga class is how our bodies and minds transition and flow from one pose to the next. How we flow through this often missed piece of the practice is what we can learn and study during Late Summer, the Season of the Spleen/Pancreas. To stay energetic and balanced during transitions as we move forward depends on our grounding to the earth. Stay Grounded to Transition Triumphantly: Earth Energy Emulsifies with Heavenly Energy - the 20 Hour on the Spleen/Pancreas is right around that sunny corner, September 13-15. Sign up Here!