Summer has apparently arrived! However, in my part of the world there is not a whole heap of evidence that this is true! Today is cool, breezy with the odd but very effective downpour.
It’s therefore a brilliant day to write my blogpost for OM Yoga magazine which is way behind schedule. Those of you who read my posts will know that for much of May I was ill…the brain was befuddled and the head ached. I tentatively poked my head out and began to ease back into the stream of life. All went well, and I truly began to feel my energies return and my enthusiasm build. Then I walked into our bedroom and rammed my left foot into the bed leg! I and four toes went onward to the linen basket but my little toe went way off course in the other direction!
Obviously the saga was painful and actually hugely traumatic. There is something fundementally wrong about having the lovely Mark, practitioner nurse, pull and pull on aforementioned toe to reset the alignment. He was wonderful and the gas I sucked deeply into my lungs did take the edge off the experience but…..!
That was two weeks ago and I am now mobile but it will be The Summer of The Birkenstocks as they are proving to be the only comfortable footwear available. It takes six weeks to heal..oh joy. I am finding my talent to verbalise everything we do in yoga to be hugely useful. I practice my yoga alone where there is no chance of anyone banging or stepping on my foot. It’s amazing how many times a day you do bang or touch against something but don’t notice until there is a painful part of you.
June’s edition of OM Yoga magazine (now superseded by a lovely double dose, July/August) has a piece in by Elizabeth Montgomery, holisticnutrition.co.uk entitled SUMMER NUTRITION. It seemed a perfect piece to read again and write about as so much of it resonates with me at this time.
Elizabeth talks of early summer being the time of Fire Element in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Sadly we are not experiencing the long, hot days of summer but that does not alter the fact that we are abiding within that season currently and our bodies are hugely affected by seasonal changes. Climatically it is not hot but our energies do rise regardless. Yang energy abounds in this season. It is masculine in nature and everything becomes ‘brighter, expansive and warming’. Elizabeth goes on to explain that to balance ourselves, we need to consume an array of foods that grow above the ground providing us with yin energy, the cooler feminine side of life. She also explains that early summer is the time of the heart centre, a period of joy and happiness but that care must be taken as it can easily go out of balance.
I became unwell at the very time when my energies would normally be rising for the coming of warmth and growth. Throughout that 3-4 weeks I, without really thinking began to eat of all the foods that Elizabeth mentions in her article; leafy greens to build up my blood and assist with healing, nuts which provide antioxidants and improve blood flow which is always a good thing when trying to rid yourself of a virus. Nuts are also alkalising and anti-inflammatory, contain healthy fats, magnesium and vitamin E. I devoured pints of raw birch juice and coconut water, also so important as the body needs hydration to cleanse and detox. And berries were a delight to me. Throughout that time much of what we ate was raw, organic and flavoursome. I juiced masses of green vegetables, popping in wheatgrass and baobab powder. I soaked almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts and made nut milk and cream and as we both healed I made tasty nibbles with dates, maca, cacao and honey whizzed into a paste of deliciousness. In a nutshell! I gave our bodies the best chance of healing.
I also decided to use only clean, organic products. Most of the time that is what I already do but I do let the odd ‘bad boy’ slide into my regime. I was too feeble to go out so no make-up was a doddle and I gave up on perfume as I decided to use only Weleda products which smell divine anyway. The last year I have sold Weleda to my yoga and massage people, but only in a gentle way. It is a small but increasingly interesting part of my life. After two months of using only Weleda my skin is looking, feeling and smelling fab.
Going back to Elizabeth Montgomery’s article she also talks of the importance of flowers and those of you who pop by regularly know that I love the odd flower sprinkled about the place. They uplift me, their shapes and colours warm me deep inside and so I chose to use Weleda’s Rose range of products. Roses are full of love and ease the heart and I truly felt, and still feel that my heart energy was/is out of sync. It can only be good to envelop myself within the energy of these fabulous flowers.
Weleda began in the 1920’s and are very well known in Europe but less so in the UK. Rudolph Steiner, the renowned philosopher, scientist and Weleda founder created the principles that now define biodynamic agriculture and the entire Weleda philosophy. So when I use my Weleda face cream I’m getting so much more than just another potion! Everything is grown with love and the rhythms of the sun, moon and planets guide when best to plant, rotate crops and harvest. Only last week the chamomile flowers were picked by hand in Derbyshire and below are two beautiful photographs taken during the harvesting. These were taken by Ian Bristow, who you can find out more about by visiting ianbristowphotography.com
I often use the Rose Body oil when massaging, especially if the person is feeling sad, alone or has recently suffered an upset/trauma. So it has been perfect to have all-things rose soothed into and onto my body these past weeks and Elizabeth’s advice to embrace flowers has certainly proved a delight to me.
Naturally there is always so much to read in OM Yoga magazine and in this particular edition (June) you will find lots of very useful information about Yoga Teacher Training. I am not the best one to advise on how to decide, as my training in Forrest Yoga came about after a boring bus journey into Manchester meant I got to read the adverts at the end of my yoga magazine! On the basis of seeing Ana Forrest doing a truly stunning, and impossible (to me anyway) inversion I turned up at her workshop and then signed up to do her Foundation Teacher Training. It simply came from deep in my heart that I had to show up and do it!
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