Late Summer Wellbeing + Practice

For those us in the northern hemisphere, we are in late summer- starting from the third week of August and runs through the Fall Equinox. In August, Nature is undergoing the burst of growth before harvest time. This energy corresponds with the energy of the Earth element (one of the 5 elements according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM). 

Thus, the next few weeks are an important time for self-nurturing and self-cultivation. This is a powerful time to fully ripen and transform using the last of summer’s bountiful energy. 

In late summer, the TCM wisdom advises us to take care and nourish our Spleen and Stomach organs, as each 5 seasons (spring, summer, late summer, autumn and winter) is paired with each 5 organs (lungs, kidneys, liver, heart, spleen) and 5 elements (metal, water, wood, fire, earth). 

Living in Flow with Late Summer

The Yellow Emperor’s Guide to Internal Chinese Medicine (黄帝内经) [the bible of Traditional Chinese Medicine] places paramount importance on living in flow with the season and the order of Nature for a sustainable healthy body and peaceful mind. This is also something I strive to integrate in my life and my work. 

On a bigger scheme of things,  it is about living with humility and a surrendering attitude, because we recognise there is a much greater force (than you and me put together) that is holding us.  

  • Element: Earth.
  • Organs : Spleen (Yin Organ) & Stomach (Yang Organ).
  • Controls: Digestion & distribution systems. TCM advises that iced/cold food & drinks are to be avoided because such cold intake will increase the “dampness” in our system and affect the function of out spleen. Yes that would include ice cream, iced drinks.
  • Tissue: Blood/Muscles.
  • Taste/Foods: Sweet/Round and sweet vegetables e.g. Pumpkin, cabbage, onions.
  • Grain: Millet.
  • Cooking Style: Short stew, quick stir-fry.
  • Colour: Yellow/earth tones.
  • Chakra: Manipura.
  • Energetics: Earth energy is grounding, stable and nurturing nature. It’s the feeling of mother and her unconditional love for her children.
  • Balanced Emotions: safe, secured, and grounded. In Equanimity.
  • Off-balanced Emotions: Indigestion, irregular bowel syndrome (IBS), water retention, fatigue, heaviness.

Late Summer Yin Yoga practice

I love Yin Yoga because of its affinity to the ancient wisdom of TCM. In each season, I will tune my practices and classes so that the poses focus on the specific meridian for the relevant organs. In Late summer, I target the Yin Poses to stimulate the Spleen and Stomach meridian. 

The Spleen and Stomach meridians flow through the our  upper front torso (rectus abdominis (aks 6 packs!) and upper legs (quads):

🧘🏻‍♀️Twisted Child Pose
🧘‍♂️ Dragon
🧘🏻‍♀️ Saddle
🧘‍♂️ Dragonfl

I hope this will bring some insights and inspiration for the rest of your summer!

 If you are in Hong Kong, please come and practice with me in my evening Group Classes at the Oriental Spa, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Central. If you are not in Hong Kong, do check out my You Tube Channel for practices!

If you’d like to learn on how to practice Yin Yoga (as per the Grilley method), please check out my blog on 3 secrets to healing issues in your issues. It is important that we learn to practice effectively and safely (yes even injuries can happen in a slow-paced long-held Yin practices if you are not properly guided!).


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