The Season of Nourishment: Late Summer Self Care
“May the nourishment of the earth be yours” – John O’Donohue
It’s a funny time, this bit between summer and autumn. You feel like you should be outside being active, but you also find yourself craving order and routine, maybe growing more introspective.
You’re done with not knowing what day it is and it’s a bit too chilly to sit out in the garden until 10pm, but the part of your brain responsible for planning and structure is still on a beach somewhere.
If this sounds familiar to you, you are not alone!
Not only is it completely normal, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – where yin yoga has its roots – there is a whole season dedicated to this time of transition.
Welcome to Late Summer, the fifth season that marks the period from mid-August to the autumn equinox on 22 September.
Transition and transformation
Late summer is a time of transition and transformation – from the open, vibrant yang energy of summer, to the quiet, reflective yin of autumn. Finding balance and connecting to our centre during this time is key to helping us move with the seasonal changes.
In TCM, Earth is the element associated with Late Summer, and the Spleen/Stomach are the main meridian lines. Practices that can help us feel grounded and centred can be very supportive during this season. In yoga asana, this might be focusing on our feet and our connection to the earth, or drawing our awareness inwards and focusing on our core and digestive system with spinal twists.
Yin and Yang
During this period of transition, it can be really helpful to include a balance of yin and yang practices, on and off the mat. This aids us in finding balance through the time of seasonal change. Dynamic yoga, dancing or walking are great ways of looking after our mobility and circulation, while quiet, reflective practices like journaling and yin yoga can support us as we move into the more introspective part of the year.
Late Summer also marks the beginning of harvest time in the Northern Hemisphere, a time of abundance and nourishment. Eating with the season can be a wonderful way to nurture your body and adjust to the natural change of the seasons.
To tap into the energy of Late Summer, try golden, autumnal foods with natural sweetness – like corn, whole grains, sweet potato and squash,
As with any time of transition, take your time and be patient with yourself. This season is nature’s way of reminding us to go slowly, tune into our body’s natural rhythm, and find balance. It’s natural to feel some fatigue, stress, or tiredness from the exertion of summer activities. This season is our chance to bring gentle awareness to how we are feeling, and prepare for the slower yin part of the year. Whether it’s getting the school uniforms ready, batch cooking on a Sunday night or trying to get to bed before 10.30pm – finding a routine can bring challenges, and doesn’t happen overnight. Our bodies, minds and nervous systems will get there – and being kind to ourselves will make this time of transition all the smoother.
Your yoga practice
Same applies to yoga. If you haven’t done much practice over the last few months, it’s understandable you won’t be ready to launch into 4 classes a week or daily sunrise yoga. And that is okay!
Take your time, and find what works for you. If you want something to help your ease back into your yoga groove, and support you through this late summer season, join me for this Late Summer Yin/Yang workshop, Thursday 2nd September.
In this workshop you will:
- practice a mix of yin/yang yoga to help you feel balanced and centred this time of year
- learn daily practices to support your body and mind and help you harness the energy of Late Summer
- receive nourishing recipes incorporating the foods and flavours of late summer
This session will be recorded, and you’ll have access for 7 days.
All are welcome, no yoga experience is necessary.
Wishing your moments of peace and nourishment this Late Summer season!