When Sam Cooke sang “Summertime and the livin’ is easy” he obviously was not talking about me. Warning dear readers: this post may be grumpy and discombobulated because that is how summertime makes me feel. We are mere hours into the latest season and I am already counting the seconds until we leave it. I hate the heat, I hate the lack of schedule, and I am longing for some hot soup and cool sweaters. BRING BACK THE SNOW! Sigh.
I tried really hard in my own practice and in my two classes today to bring in the sunshine and spark that so many feel about the summer. We did Surya Namaskars (obviously) and some sun breaths, but frankly I felt like someone had placed my tongue in Garudasana. I could barely speak correctly, I got my lefts and rights wrong nearly every time and I sounded as if English was my second language. My practice was shaky and off, my body was aching in new places and I kept getting too hot. Sigh.
I get it, I really do, that some people find summer enchanting and magical. Some kids get excited for the end of the school year and playing in the pool/water. But as a kid, for me fall was the best time of year. We got new school supplies, I reconnected with my friends and I went back to my routine. It worked for me, I loved school. My elves are the same way and the impending end of school tomorrow is rocking their world like the new season is mine. We have had unending drama for a week, tears and fighting and real reluctance to even talk about what happens after tomorrow. Summer stinks.
My teacher and friend Sadie Nardini wrote a great post on Elephant Journal today about how yoga cannot make you sane if you are not making steps to do it yourself off the mat. It, she rightly posits, is not a cure-all. Both teaching and practicing yoga give me little havens from the summer, but do not move the calendar forward. The space I find there is shared by elves and students and I get less and less that is my own during July and August. Perhaps this last point is the thorn in my paw that is throbbing today and making me so testy.
Summer which symbolizes freedom from school, windswept hair and suntans to so many has a totally opposite meaning for me. I get ruddy and sunburned, my hair gets big and frizzy and the freedom that comes from elves in school vanishes as fast as the school year did.
Yes, summer is not going anywhere fast and I need to find some way to make resistance I feel soften. Thankfully my yoga helps me to bring in the space and coolness that summer lacks. I have go-to poses and practices that maybe are for only five or ten minutes which keep me from losing my noggin. My yoga tool belt contains more power and shazam than anything Batman could ever sport. I can use these tools to witness my resistance and help find the ways to handle whatever this hot season brings up for me. Yoga may not turn the calendar pages, but it will help me through it.
For that I am so thankful, as I know that I will be needing my yoga practice now more than any other time so far this year. Until the fall comes I’ll be chanting my newest mantra:
Yoga keeps me cool in the summertime. Yoga keeps me cool in the summertime. Yoga keeps me cool in the summertime.
Care to join me?