Moving into the belly of summer just feels well, a little lighter.
Often with longer days we have more time to move our bodies, find time to nourish our souls. Beautiful gardens begin to bloom and nourishing foods take root in the promise of fall bounty.
For me, Summer usually means a vacation with some time on the beach. For many years, I wanted to practice yoga on the beach but was very bothered by the sand. Not sure whether to bring a mat? Not bring a mat? Try a towel? The decision just always seemed to take the Yoga out of Yoga.
One summer, I brought a mat, got it full of sand (as well as myself)
and felt bothered by the whole experience.
Next summer- tried a towel, which ended up buried in the sand, and again all I was, was bothered.
With each Summer Sand Yoga experience though- something shifted. Something about the whole experienced begged for me to show up differently. Surrounded by nature and its beauty, there was something about my irritation with sand that just didn't fit. Awareness had asked for more from me. A panorama of awareness would ask me to shift into the world around, not just to what was under my feet.
So the next summer- I chose to dig in. Just decided no mat, no towel. And, not only was I going to embrace the messy, gritty, invasive nature of the sand- I was going to DIG in it. Like a child I was going to embrace that sand as part of the pleasure of the experience.
I focused the practice on pressing my hands into it, working my fingers even deeper into, and made sure my toes were buried in every mountain pose.
When I finished, I just by chance looked down into the sand. And saw the beauty below. For in the sand were my marks of rootedness, expansion, stability, and lift. They were all clearly laid out as if I had painted them there. I saw every movement, every moment my forehead touched the earth. I saw my footprints and my low back resting. Like a beautiful sand castle yoga mat.
And, I wasn't bothered.