It’s officially the dog days of summer… the hottest, most uncomfortable days of summer. I know this because of the many Facebook posts of car thermometers, weather forecasts and heat index reports. Texas summer is brutal and many of its residents escape to a cooler climate in August. I would love to be Colorado right now wearing a sweatshirt (heaven) but that is not possible, so what’s a yogi to do?
Yoga teaches many things: inner and outer strength, focus and balance, peace and calm. One lesson I hear over and over is to “find comfort in the uncomfortable,” whether it’s holding a yin posture for an extended time or simply “switching the cross” of my easy seated pose.
Taking my yoga off the mat during the dog days of summer means waking up early to walk outside, which becomes a mindful meditation as I take in the birds chirping, a breeze (hopefully) blowing through the trees and the beauty of the night becoming day. I can find peace and calm in the stillness of the heat. One of my favorite sounds of summer is the cicadas/locusts buzzing in the trees.
As the sun intensely burns my skin when I walk across a parking lot, I remember to slow down my breath and be grateful; grateful that the sun helps things grow and gives us Vitamin D and light. I’m grateful for sunglasses and nearby air-conditioning. The intense heat that keeps me indoors during the hottest hours of the day helps balance the business of the rest of the year. I can focus on quieter tasks that require less energy: organizing closets, challenging my mind with puzzles and books and finishing yoga teacher training requirements all while staying cool.
Finding comfort in the hottest, most uncomfortable days of summer isn’t always easy but with a little patience and the tools I’ve learned from yoga I know I will make it to autumn. Happy Downward Dog Days of summer. May they be filled with peace and gratitude!