Right now we’re in the middle of a beautiful heatwave in the UK and after a long wet winter, the warmth is most welcome. You’re probably seeing many pictures on social media of outdoor scenes, social gatherings and dancing, and this is the time of year when nature supports these activities. However, it takes humans on average about 2 weeks to respond to new temperatures, with those people who spend more time outside adapting faster due to being “outdoor acclimatised”.
As humans, the seasons affect us at a cellular level. Research has shown that adapting to our environment actually alters the structure of our DNA. I wrote in more detail about summer and the effects on our bodies in the blog post here. But for this post, I wanted to talk about how this season relates to meditation and the importance of finding your own inner stillness during this time.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yin and Yang theory illustrates the flow of energy as it rises and falls throughout the natural rhythms of the day, season and year, specifically in connection with our relationship to the sun (yang) and the moon (yin).
Overall, Yin represents the feminine, cool, quiet, dark side of the day and year (night and winter) and Yang, the masculine, warm, moving time (day and summer). This theory is used in combination with Five Element theory which gives each season characteristics to further help us understand how our body maintains balance through the natural rhythms of life.
Summer is a time of full Yang and we’re encouraged to move with this more active flow. Yet, what if you don’t enjoy this time of year or have a tendency to burn out? How do you remain connected to your inner, grounded stillness while the energy of the season is rising? This is where a regular practice of mindful, gentle connection with your breath will greatly help you maintain a connection with your quiet centre during this energetically vibrant time.
If you’d like to know more about how bring about balance in the Summer, I’ve written a blog post for State of Liberty. Click here to read it.
I’m really loving the actual summer we’re having, escaping to The Downs, Bristol Lido or the beautiful countryside surrounding Bristol whenever I can. I hope you are too.