The late spring has married together with the early summer and summer excitement has been birthed! The joy of summer fills our of our hearts with such gratitude of the beauty in our lives. Summers are what many of us live for because it gives us permission to play, laugh, play hooky from work, and spend time with our loved ones in nature. So how do we cherish this precious time of the year without over scheduling, overdoing, and ending up burned out by the end of July?
This summer, in particular, there are six planets going retrograde (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto, and Mercury) at varying points in the season. In astrology, when a planet goes retrograde, it slows down and even appears to stop completely and switch direction. It is a gift of the universe for us to pause our forward momentum, slow down, to reflect, to review, to re-analyze before we can start to move forward again. Not an easy downshift from our fast paced lives, but a welcomed gift to our bodies, especially our nervous systems, that tend to be wired up from all of the stimulation in our lives. The planets slowing down give us an opportunity to follow suit. We as humans tend to think that we must always be creating, doing, exploring, and getting things done. But just like in nature’ cycles, we need periods of more rest, pausing, and healing to allow a new creative cycle to be burst forth in its own time and way. New creative energy can percolate up when it has a container of space to bubble up through.
Specifically, Mars is going retrograde June 26 through August 27 with a shadow period between May 12 through October 8. Mars is the planet that rules are will, passion, drive. It’s our inner masculine energy that moves forward and gets things done. This will not be a time to push ahead, or try to force things to happen that aren’t ready to and you may find projects slowed or with some delays. Allow yourself to let go of the push, reflect, journal, lounge in a hammock, go out into nature, clear an afternoon with no agenda. When was the last time that you allowed yourself to just be, with no must do list? Personally, I have been dealing with an injury that has been forcing me to have to slow down a lot, ask for help, and to put on the shelf some great ideas that just aren’t meant to flow right now. Where do you feel like you’re forcing something to happen that is not flowing easefully right now? So much of our own stress can be from our own inner expectations, so what if you begin to take some risks this summer and break your own rules about what you should or shouldn't be doing?
Summer Wellness for the body includes nourishment, play, and enjoyment of the season. In Ayurveda, Summer time represents the dosha, Pitta, this time of year. The The Pitta Dosha is responsible for our ability to mentally digest our life experiences and biologically digest food. Its qualities are hot, light and sharp. If you are already wired to be pitta, summers can aggravate the heat that burns so easily within you naturally.
To stay in balance this summer season, enjoy my nourishment tips for body and soul:
1. The hot, summer weather can send us into dehydration quicker than we realize. Drink water every hour. Spend time near water, by a lake, creek. pond or take a bath or a long shower.
2. Aloe vera becomes our best friend this time of year. For sunburns, you can even take the gel of an aloe plant and spread it on a burn.
3. Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy more raw, cooling foods, that’s why we all love a good piece of watermelon, fresh cucumber slices in our water, farmers market and gardening season. There is so much abundance of fresh foods so enjoy a daily smoothie, salad, raw veggies for snacks and cool, Apple mint tea for a refreshing afternoon drink.
4. To balance out all of your summer activity, try this restorative yoga pose, Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani).
Prioritize play, leisure, rest, reflection and water this summer and your cup of creativity, vitality and inspiration will be flowing by summer’s end.