Today, I’m excited to share a guest post from a talented, local, friend and yogi! Georgia fits right in to the Modern Hippie community, and has graciously allowed me to share her article, “5 Reasons to Start Yoga This Summer (or Re-Ignite Your Practice.)”
Georgia is the owner of Blissful Yoga; transforming lives through yoga, from the heart of Sechelt. She has been a dedicated practitioner of yoga from the age of 16 and has been joyfully sharing this practice with others for the last 4 years. Georgia loves to combine yoga with her appreciation of nature, and her love of kayaking, snowshoeing and hiking. When she’s not on her mat, Georgia loves to bake, spend time outside, forage for food and go on adventures!
Yoga is something that I’ve always wanted to incorporate into my life, and this article has inspired me to start “trying a little harder” to fit it in. If any one needs to learn how to slow down, center themselves and relax, it’s me!
Here are Georgia’s 5 reasons to start yoga this summer (or re-ignite you practice!)
#1 You Can Do it Anywhere!
The only thing you need in order to practice yoga is your body. Sure, you could lay down a mat if you really want to, but it’s not necessary! Part of the brilliance of yoga is in its flexibility – not only of body, but in practice. It’s the perfect thing to take on your summer camping trip, to pull out for 10 minutes at your road trip rest stop, or to play with on the beach. Have an arsenal of 5-10 poses that you really enjoy and you’re good to go, anytime, anywhere.
#2 Tune in to Your Body
Summer season tends to be hectic. It’s short and sweet which makes it so easy to get caught up in all the good vibes andrun ourselves ragged. I know I am definitely guilty of this! One of the greatest lessons you can learn from yoga is to tune in to the subtle messages of your body and to respect and heed those messages rather than push yourself into sickness and exhaustion like so many of us are wont to do. Yoga is about listening to your body, so:
- Stay hydrated (water and lemon is a great way to start your day, water and watermelon is my fave in the afternoons!)
- Stay rested; go to bed at a reasonable hour and embrace cat naps in the sun!
- Set boundaries – as tempting as it is, you don’t have to say yes to every barbeque, or every wine spritzer, you’re offered!
- Don’t be afraid to just stay in savasana (corpse pose) – sometimes what your body really needs is 10 minutes to just lie down and breathe.
#3 Connect with Nature
At the heart of yoga is union – the recognition that we are all interconnected. As I mentioned before, yoga can be practicedanywhere, and we happen to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet for outdoor yoga. There is nothing quite like practicing tree pose surrounded by trees, mountain pose on a mountain, or deep ujjayi (ocean sounding) breathing with real ocean waves as the background! Take advantage of the sunshine, dig your toes in the sand, breathe in delicious fresh air and increase your awareness and appreciation of the beautiful environment around you.
#4 Practice Self-Cooling Breaths
We all know what it’s like to feel overheated. Sometimes drinking ice water and sitting in the shade just doesn’t cut it. Luckily there is a pranayama (breathing) exercise that has you covered!
Shitali (Cooling Breaths):
- Stick your tongue out and curl the sides upwards (if you’re like me and can’t get the curl, no worries)
- Breathe in through your mouth
- Hold the breath for a heart beat or two, or as long as feels comfortable
- Very slowly exhale through your nose
This breath removes excess heat from the body, cooling your core temperature from the inside out! Its cooling properties also reduce stress, anxiety and anger. Practice for 10-20 rounds.
#5 Use Summer’s Natural Energy to Your Advantage
Summer is a season of abundant light. Our bodies are bursting with this solar energy, so harness the natural rhythm of summer and try something new or recommit to a physical activity you enjoy. Unlike the yin energy of winter when we tend to feel sluggish and tired, the yang energy of summer inspires us to be active and outdoors. In summer we feel expansive, open to possibilities, adventurous, happy and care free. It is the perfect time to nourish your yoga practice, be curious and playful, and make it part of your life, so when fall and winter hit, it’s easier to keep it up!
Blissful Yoga’s theme for July is taking yoga off the mat and into the forest, to the mountains, and on to the beach! If you take your practice outside, send us a photo to our Facebook page and we will print it out and put it up at the studio!