Astrologically-speaking, this week’s gunna be a doozy! And there’s little relief in sight.
The good news is the Rx for this week's horoscope is taking extra time to rest and recuperate. And without going into details about this week’s astrological intensity (you can listen to that, here or here), be in bed!
Another reason to focus on rest is we’re also in the height of Fire Season according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Read on for more on how to balance the fire element in summer.
In TCM, summer is associated with the fire element, which represents warmth, joy, and activity. Generally, summer makes us feel better because it allows for spending more time outside. Being outdoors increases our exposure to the sun, which synthesizes Vitamin D in our body, and boosts our serotonin levels because we tend to move more.
However, summer also brings the risk of getting over-stimulated by our enthusiasm to do too much, stay in the sun too long, and drink too many iced coffees. This may lead to feelings of irritability, anxiety, insomnia and/or exhaustion. For full vitality, we’re wanting to find balance— too much “fire” is too much fire.
By following certain practices, you can harmonize the fire element and promote overall well-being during this season.
KEEP CALM AND TAKE THE NAP!
- Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule When we sleep, our bodies undergo essential processes of repair, rejuvenation, and regulation. Adequate sleep allows our bodies to restore energy levels, regulate hormone production, and support optimal cognitive function. During summer, when the fire element is more active, getting sufficient and restful sleep is particularly important to help cool down the body, calm the mind, and maintain overall balance. Quality sleep also helps to reduce stress, enhance immune function, and support healthy digestion, all of which contribute to the harmonization of the fire element and overall well-being. Wearing a eye mask and sleeping on a silk pillowcase keeps it dark and cool— both contributing to a better night's sleep.
- Cultivate Mindfulness Practices Engage with meditation, cooling breathing exercises (see below), or gentle qigong to calm the mind, reduce stress, and balance the fire element. Via these practices you can develop an increased sense of self-awareness and emotional regulation, which can help manage excessive fire energy associated with the summer season. The Chinese herbal formula in Calm Spirit by Mount Sunny is a great alternative for those times when practice takes a back seat. We also carry Rose LA’s Dream Sleep formula. Call the shop for more information and to order.
- Stay Hydrated We can’t say it enough. No one can! For all the reasons you know, and then some, drink plenty of water throughout the day to cool down the body and support proper digestion and rest. Consider adding Rosewater to your water bottle or making a big jar of calming and cooling herbal sun tea to sip on, too.
- Practice Physical Moderation Now is not the time to be pushing your physical limits. Moderate activity that keeps the energy flowing without overexerting yourself is better for both the body and mind. Activities like swimming, walking, or gentle yoga are beneficial. And because it’s easy to overdo it… Hypertonic provides an immediate revitalizing effect that supports over-exertion during Fire season— physical and mental— by offering the minerals needed for proper bodily function.
THE COOLING BREATH PRACTICE
A great breathing practice to stay cool during the summer, or any time you feel overheated or irritated is The Cooling Breath also known traditionally as Sheetali/Sitkari Pranayama.
Here’s how to practice it [video]:
- Sit with an elongated spine.
- Extend your tongue and curl it like a tube (Sheetali). If your tongue doesn’t curl bring your teeth together and let your tongue float behind your teeth (Sitkari).
- With a slightly open mouth, inhale slowly through your curled tongue, or teeth.
- Return tongue to mouth, hold your breath and bring your chin all the way down. Hold for a few seconds.
- Exhale smoothly through your nose as you rise your head back up to neutral.
- Repeat for up to 10 rounds, finding an easy, steady rhythm.
- Return to your regular breath and notice any effects from this cooling breath.