August 21st – October 21st
Late summer is a time of transition, time to draw back to your centre, creating stability and balance in preparation for the cooler yin seasons of autumn and winter.
Nature is slowing down. This is a time of harvest and ripening as the earth begins to absorb the remnants of the growing seasons. A point of stillness between the lush seasons of Spring and Summer (Yin energy) and the quieter seasons of Autumn and Winter (Yin energy). For us it’s a time to nurture ourselves, slow down a little, reflect on our lives, digest and bring our focus inwards. You may struggle with bouts of fatigue during this season, and this low energy and/or motivation is usually triggered by over-exertion, emotional stress, or lack of sleep from the full-on activities of Summer. Look after yourself with regular routines of proper rest, exercise and nutrition to boost your energy.
The element associated with this season is the earth and the associated organs are the stomach and spleen. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the stomach is thought to process information and emotions as well as food, and is related to self-esteem, while the spleen lifts our energy and mood. Our yoga practice in Late Summer focuses on core stability and balance, on connecting with the earth and feeling centred, and creating a sense of well-being. Poses like balasana (child’s pose), Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining butterfly), Reclining Twist and Savasana are grounding, and any pose that opens the hips will stimulate spleen energy. Gentle backbends help to lift energy and reduce fatigue. Standing and balancing poses will help draw your focus in towards your centre.
Orange and yellow are the colours connected with Late Summer, cooling the fiery reds of Summer . Don’t combine too many ingredients and use fewer spices and other stimulants. This season is associated with sweetness, to balance the bitterness of Summer but keep it natural. Sugar and processed/refined foods can aggravate the pancreas and spleen, making you feel more anxious, tired and unwell. Sauteeing food can bring out it’s natural sweetness. Yellow and orange foods like peaches, butternut squash and carrots are in season and high in beta-carotene which is great for the immune system. Dampness can be an issue, resulting in mucus and congestion in the body. Eat mindfully so you don’t overeat and try to eat earlier in the day as the stomach is least active in the evening. Foods like lemon, celery, onions, leeks and garlic can resolve dampness, as can drinking jasmine or green tea.
Sea Buckthorn, Arnica and Pomegranate are the ranges which align most closely with this season. Throughout its entire growth cycle, Sea Buckthorn demonstrates an ability to combine vitality and life force. Bright, golden-red, berries absorb the radiance of the sun and take strength from it, converting the rays into valuable vitamins. They contain an exceptionally high content of Vitamin C, and also contain Vitamin B12. Support your immune system and boost energy levels with Sea Buckthorn elixir. Sea Buckthorn is also a real beauty expert. The rich oil from the seeds and pulp protects skin and strengthens its barrier function. A high content of linoleic and linolenic acid, palmitoleic acid and vitamin E soothes skin irritations, which are common during this season. It prevents skin from drying out and supports healthy interplay of energies within the skin. The sunny yellow arnica plant thrives in natural mountain meadows and calcium-poor peat soils. About 150 pharmaceutically active ingredients are found in arnica’s flower clusters. Among these are valuable and effective substances such as flavonoids, carotenoids and precious essential oils. Extracts from arnica have been shown to have an antiseptic effect and they promote blood circulation, relieve pain and speed up the healing process. Pomegranate is known to be good at balancing extremes. As skin becomes drier and more sensitive to irritation, it’s powerful concentration of nutrients, including vitamins C, B5 and potassium, together with antioxidant polyphenols make it ideal for supporting regeneration, stabilising and relaxing the skin in times of transition.
Earth element – colours Yellow & Orange – Balanced energy – Stomach & Spleen organs – Sweetness – Damp – Manipura (solar plexus) chakra – Frankincense oil – Nurture/Support/Empathy – avoid over-thinking/self-doubt