Jun 11 , 2021
The Season of Connection
“Connection is why we’re here: it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” ~ Brene Brown
This is our season to CONNECT. In Early Summer we find ourselves in this in-between phase, it isn’t quite the full yang of Summer, Spring has already sprung… and we’re somewhere in the middle. It’s almost, if you like… the warm up to Summer. The ‘get ready’, the amber light to prepare us for all that’s to come as we spearhead towards the longest day and the official start of Summer.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Seasonal Yoga, the narrative shifts from Spring’s ideas of growth and new beginnings, to themes of expansion and of building heat in Early Summer. It seems only fitting that in the UK at the moment, restrictions are easing, we’re allowed ‘back out’ and we find ourselves craving human connection once more.
Early Summer, is the prequel to the Summer Solstice (June 20th), our natural world is flourishing, it’s getting warmer outside and with that comes the tendency to gravitate towards more time spent outdoors. Whether it’s long walks, beach visits, a BBQ with friends or tending to the garden, it’s time to soak up the sun and take time out in nature.
During this short, transitional spell, Seasonal Yoga encourages us to focus on circulating energy and generating agni (fire/ heat). The organs of the Season are the Pericardium and the Triple Heater. The Pericardium is the sac of connective tissue surrounding the heart, and the Triple Heater is unique to Chinese medicine and is not a traditional ‘organ’ within the body. It is essentially a cross-section of meridians. In essence, like the other Yang organs it is involved in receiving food and drink, transforming, transporting and excreting wastes and believed to play a crucial role in balancing the flow of energy through the body.
Diving straight into the organs of Early Summer, the Pericardium surrounds a vital organ in our body, the heart. It’s often referred to as the ‘Heart Protector’. When the Pericardium is functioning well, it balances the amount of positivity and negativity that the Heart can process and learn from, which helps the Heart to experience its own emotion, Joy. The meridian lines for the pericardium sit along the front of the body, running from just above the nipple, down the middle of the arm and ending at the tip of the middle finger. To stimulate this organ and promote joy, go-to poses are opening and expansive across the heart.
The Triple Heater, sometimes called ‘Sanjiao’ is a complete system in itself and is the governing fascia which is the ultimate in Yin and Yang, separating yet integrating and providing a means of how the organs and the body parts communicate, enabling them to be galvanised into acting and also working as a team. It is often referred to as the three burners, the upper, the middle and the lower. It’s a connection point of 12 different meridians, and is directly linked to the Hypothalamus, which is the body’s thermostat and supports the endocrine system. The triple warmer is like the hostess with the mostest, making sure everyone at the party is having a good time, they have what they need and they are comfortable with one another. Physically in your body making sure that everything is connected, energy is flowing well, hormones are stabilised and balancing circulation and movement. The meridian runs from the back of the ring finger, along the underside of the arms and shoulders, tracing around the ear and ending at the end of the eyebrow. Poses that open the upper back and protect the heart, help to soothe the triple burner.
When we combine the themes of these two organs to influence our yoga practice, they invite us to open the fabric of the body, the fascia. Physically, this means bringing our attention to the connective tissue in our practice. Whilst that isn’t something we can see, it’s very much present in our bodies and is a living web of tissue that separates, and yet connects everything within us. In an Early Summer practice, you would expect to open and unravel tension in the body through heart opening practices, think wide open arms! This season is all about balance, bringing the energy out and then back in. So we counteract the expansive movements, by practicing postures that open the back of the body and protect the heart. The perfect Early Summer practice strikes the balance, by warming up and lengthening the body, yet not expending all of our energy reserves.
Off the mat, this season is about connection, connection with whatever brings you joy and doing more of that! In Spring, the seeds were planted and in Early Summer we are beginning to see these flourish. Seeds of intention have been planted and now is the time to get ready, plan and do the work to enjoy it all. Just as we balance our energetic levels within our physical practice, as we warm up for Summer it’s so important to continue this theme off the mat and to balance this with our social interactions and life commitments too. Avoiding burnout and setting boundaries so that we can feel calm, sociable and clear headed. Consider your world as sliding scale of introvert and extrovert, taking time to open up to new possibilities and experiences, but also to draw back, take time for yourself and recoup!
Join me on the mat for an Early Summer flow to reconnect, find new movement and feel good! Find the class here
Varrie is a 200hr Yoga Teacher who loves nothing more than sharing her passion for this practice.
Varrie brings a spirit of playfulness to her teachings, combining creative sequencing, compassion-centred philosophy and a gentle nature to encourage students to find feel-good movement in their practice. Her classes are a blend of thought-provoking meditations, breath-led movement and guided relaxations, combining elements of Vinyasa Flow and Seasonal Yoga.
Find out more by visiting her website: https://www.yogawithvarrie.com