The season of Early Summer is short but sweet running from 21st May to 20th June and this is the time in Seasonal Yoga when we focus on the connective tissue, in particular the connective tissue surrounding the heart – the pericardium, and the thick layers throughout the torso, known as the bandhas. Now in the Fire element, we can feel more heat in nature and in ourselves and feel ready now to stretch out and enjoy!
Listed below are a few ways that we can support our bodies and mind through living mindful this season.
1. Open up the chest and heart area. If you work a lot at a computer, tablet or drive the chest and shoulders can become quite constricted. Loosen off by regularly stretching the arms up and back, open the chest and keep the pericardium (connective tissue surrounding the heart smooth and elastic. Physically moving the chest helps us to emotionally open allowing us to feel deeper joy, happiness and contentment.
2. Stay connected! Begin with the body, have awareness of every part and enjoy a good stretch daily. Be aware of the bandas, the thick layers of connective tissue that separates the torso area. Enjoy becoming more social, connect with friends and family and have fun with those around you. Laugh more often! Connect to strangers by smiling at as you pass, its amazing how positivity can spread through just a smile!
3. Keep the body warm. As the weather is still quite temperamental, layers are a great idea to stay warm and avoid the muscles and connective tissue from tightening up. Deep breathing, ujjiyi breath, is a great practice to warm the inside of the body as is vinyasa flow yoga and hot yoga, keeping muscles warm and stretchy.
4. Release tension and let it go. Now is the time to treat the body with regular massage! Bowen therapy is a fantastic way to work with connective tissue, releasing stress and strain, and preventing injury. Talk out anything that’s on your mind so you don’t bottle it up.
5. Drink plenty of water. Preferably 2 litres a day, more if it’s warmer, is needed to keep the connective tissue soft, supple and elasticated.
6. Introduce alkaline food and drinks into your diet. Lots of green veg and citrus is great for reducing acid waste (and therefore tightness) in the blood and muscles.
7. Getting enough vitamins A, C, E and omega 3 essential fatty acids are fantastic for cell repair and regenerating connective tissue, with the added benefit of being anti-ageing! Add lots of fruit, veg, carrots, avocado, oily fish, seeds into your diet to get these wonderful nutrients
8. Lemongrass is said to help regenerate connective tissue so add it into thai curries to eat or a few drops of essential oil into massage oils and allow it to absorb deep into tired muscles!