A few weeks ago, we welcomed summer in all of my yoga classes with a summertime theme – complete with pool noodles, a beach ball, several other pool toys, some Beach Boys music, and a new yoga shirt I wore that said, “Live in the Sunshine!”
It was something fun and just a little different. Many of my students told me that they particularly enjoyed coming into various yoga poses with pool noodles in hand. How I wish I had taken some photos to share – especially of “Surfer Warrior with Pool Noodle” – but, alas, I did not.
Summer is, without a doubt, my favorite season of the year. I love the heat. I love the sun on my face and my shoulders. I love being near, on, or in the water when I have the opportunity (there are two lovely lakes in my neighborhood). I love hanging out on my screened-in back porch and putzing in all my gardens. I love sitting (or sleeping) under a ceiling fan (no air conditioning for me!). I even (sort of) love the rainy summer days – of which we’ve had a lot this year!
I’m trying very hard to slow down and enjoy this summer – to be fully present and truly savor each and every day. I’ve purposely not scheduled any workshops to teach during the summer, I’ve given up a couple of my regular yoga classes, I’ve said no (or not yet) to a several new teaching opportunities, and I've said no to a yoga teacher training opportunity that I was extremely interested in – all very difficult for me to do. As any of my friends or family will tell you, I’m a recovering workaholic – but I’ve not recovered very far. I’m trying to do better, especially during these precious summer months.
As I write these words, I am sitting on my screened-in back porch under the ceiling fan, on a perfect summer evening. It's Wednesday, the 3rd of July. Typically, I would be teaching a yoga class on a Wednesday evening, but tonight’s classes were cancelled in anticipation of tomorrow’s holiday.
I took the opportunity to visit the Grayslake Farmer’s Market (purchased some lovely raspberries, a bag of mixed lettuces, and just a bit of raw-milk Gouda cheese) – then stopped at the Grayslake Tastee Freeze for my annual Snickers ice cream sundae (limit, one per summer) – then returned home to spend some quality time reading and writing on my screened-in back porch, where I will still be when I post this on my blog.
Back to those summer-focused yoga classes from a few weeks back...
At the end of each class that week, I shared a reading from the book, “Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul” (p. 167). I've included some of the words that I read to my students below:
Learn to enjoy summer, that wonderful warm time when everything is in full bloom.
Summer isn’t forever, but don’t ruin it by fussing. Forget about the winter just past, the autumn that lies ahead. Immerse yourself in the good times, the fullness of summertime.
We may have gotten so used to the other times, the colder times that we’ve forgotten how to enjoy the sun, the warmth, the play times. The good times. Each moment of our lives is important. Each moment of our lives is a spiritual experience.
Take off your heavy wrap. Grab your straw hat and go bask in the sun. Tomorrow’s lessons will take care of themselves.
Enjoy these lovely summer days – and a very safe and Happy 4th of July!