Christmas, New Year and January in general can be a time of over-indulgence in every way: food, alcohol, socialising and activity.
While Covid shook things up this year and for some may have dampened Christmas and New Year celebrations (I was in lockdown for both), for many of us the farewell to 2020 gave the green light to indulge even more than usual.
Thankfully for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, the season of summer is very forgiving.
It’s a time when nature has an outward and upward quality that gives us a bit more ‘wiggle room’ to indulge and enjoy being out there in the world than in the cooler months.
But even nature has her limits.
And if you’ve experienced neck and shoulder tension, anxiety, insomnia, depression, poor digestion and circulation or a dull complexion- it could be a sign your summer time meridians (energy lines) are in need of a bit of January love.
In Japanese yoga class during the summer months we focus on specific movements to unblock and activate the summer meridians of heart, small intestine, triple heater and heart constrictor.
And in a typical summer class you’ll find quite a bit of neck and shoulder release poses combined with attention to bringing more energy back down to the hara (in the lower belly).
As a result you can expect to feel more energised, joyful and creative as well as experience better immunity, digestion and suffer much less neck and shoulder discomfort.
Something else you can support your body with off the mat during this season is through your food choices.
Japanese yoga is more than simply physical movements.
It also incorporates eating habits based on thousands of years of wisdom, respect and knowledge about nature and the seasons.
Specifically- during the summer months you want to eat seasonal wholefoods belonging to summer and limit your cold, frozen foods (eg icecream! It upsets the small intestine) and meat eating (too warming for the body).
A simple stepping stone to help bring the body back into balance at this time of year is to add one thing to your daily eating habits:
1 cup of cooked brown rice.
Genmai- as it’s known in Japanese- has a long list of benefits.
-Gives healthy glowing skin and complexion
-Regulates Blood Sugar
-Promotes a feeling of Fullness (supports healthy weight)
-Slows down Aging
-Prevents formation of Blood Clots
-Reduces Stress and Anxiety
-Lessens Fatigue and Exhaustion
-Encourages Healthy Sex Drive
-Helps to prevent Cancer
– Helps to prevent Heart Disease
– Helps to prevent Diabetes
You’ll notice many of these benefits support the symptoms of summer meridian imbalance.
Genmai is a staple food of Japanese Yoga no matter what the season- it’s recommended to have 1 cup of cooked brown rice everyday if you can☺
This can be in any form: as a plain side dish, in sushi, as a stir fry, instead of white rice, rice salad etc.
Here’s a simple genmai recipe to get you started today.
2 x Cups Organic Brown Rice
4 x Cups Fresh Springwater
¼ x Teaspoon of Good Quality Sea Salt