On this first day of summer, we enter the mot intense seasonal period of abundance. It’s the season where we have the opportunity to connect to the element of fire to nurture our growth.

Summer is the time to express ourselves, to show our love, to explore our passions, and to engage in physical and social activities that bring us joy. Not all of us, however, come perfectly equipped with the fiery energy, creativity, inspiration, or motivation we need this time of year to make the most of it.

Stoking the inner fire must be done with care, love, and balance. As yogis, we can all focus on the following three major things to make sure the flames of our fire burn strong and harmoniously all summer long.

Incorporate Heart-Opening Poses Into Your Practice

The element of fire is most closely associated with the heart, which is why poses that encourage you to bear your chest to the world can feel so empowering. Doing so will help you become more conscious of yourself and the world around you, allowing you to follow your intuition more easily and move in the direction of your greatest desires and passions.

Backbends will help you open your chest and heart center. Try incorporating cobra pose, upward facing dog pose, bow pose, camel pose, and other back bends into your practice to help open up your heart. Make sure to balance them with some cooling forward folds and breath work/pranayama/meditation as well.

Work on Opening Your Third Chakra

Called Manipura, your third chakra allows you to tap into your spiritual strength, personal power, and active courage. This chakra can be found around the solar plexus region, near the navel up toward the breastbone. When you feel confident, passionate, and driven to take action, you know that your third chakra is open.

As a Yogi Surprise member, you may have received The Chakra Bible book in our June Lifestyle Box, which you can refer to if you’d like to learn all about your third chakra as well as how to begin working with it. If you didn’t receive our June Lifestyle Box, you can look toward YouTube for free meditation videos that will help you open your third chakra.

Trade Iced Drinks and Foods for Lighter, Warmer, Fresher Alternatives

An ice-cold glass of lemonade, ice cream cone, popsicle, or Freezee might seem like a refreshing and well deserved treat to help you cool off, but to keep your internal fire burning strong, you’ll want to avoid them. Anything too cold — and that includes chilled water — can douse your digestive fire.

Get in the habit of drinking beverages at room temperature and eating lots of fresh, whole foods with high water content to help balance your body by keeping it just cool enough and your inner fire burning strong. If you feel like your digestive fire could use a boost, enjoy hot and spicy foods to bring on the heat—but make sure to keep it balanced by consuming them in moderation while incorporating cooling foods into your diet. The fire element is associated with the taste of bitterness, so enjoy more salads with bitter, leafy greens like kale, arugula, dandelion and others.