Mother nature has her transcending routine. The sun sets and rises each day. With the summer solstice just passed, the apple trees branches hang low, bearing the weight of their fruit. It seems everything is in abundance: family, friends, food, sunlight, old hangouts, new hot spots, must do’s. Our senses, emotions and body all embrace the warmth which the summer season has to offer.
Welcome the summer with loving open arms. Give yourself (and yours) some love and stay top of your game this season. Here are just a few ideas to get you going…
Love your body
1. TLC pampering:
Do things that make you feel beautiful and special. This is an essential ingredient to loving your body, and keeping your temple in tip-top condition. Pamper yourself. Light candles, play some music, sing along if you wish. Fashion your favorite hair style, use your favorite Yogi Surprise products and use that perfume saved for special occasions. Feel special now, there’s no time like the present.
2. Dress for success:
Add a splash of color in your daily wardrobe. It’s about feeling comfortable, gorgeous and confident all day long. Think chakra, think Anahata ‘Heart’ chakra, think green, the color of harmony, growth, abundance, and nature.
Increase your vitamin and mineral intake by complimenting your diet which is a sweet seasonal fruit smoothie. Spinach, blueberries, coconut milk, with a pinch of honey and a pinch of cinnamon is my favorite.
Pump up your lung capacity, stimulate your thyroid glands, whilst toning your abs and quads with full power Ustrasana, camel pose.
Love your mind
1. Set your intention
How do you like to start your day? We all have our ideal routine and experience shows us time and again that we reap the rewards when we proactively roll this into our lives. So take time out to organize your thoughts and create space. Summer always yields a busier schedule. You may have 101 things-to-do today, but what if you could only do 3? Set your intention, draw knowledge from your Yogi self and live a more mindful and intentional life.
2. Gratitude meditation
Unwinding after your day, pause for a moment in reflection. Quietly say, think or write down what you’re grateful for. Think of as many events or people as you can, big or small, it doesn’t matter, it’s the way you feel. As your gratitude grows, it gives rise to your inner joy and opens your heart. Try this just before bed and dream sweetly.
3. Strike a loving mindful Yoga pose
Boost your mental power by practicing Shirshasana (head stand), the king of all asanas.
Love your energy
Eating can have a profound effect on our energy levels. The color from blue, purple and red berries, for example, comes from anthocyanins, an energy boosting powerful antioxidant. Fiber from foods like nuts, beans, grains, fruit, assist to level out your energy levels and can aid your digestion.
Sleep, we all do it, we all need it, but do we get the recommended 7-8 hours a night? Getting a good night’s sleep helps our bodies to repair our heart and blood vessels and has also been connected to improving our memory. Yes, please I really need more restful, peaceful, sleep-full nights! Three things have become integral to my wind-down, bedtime routine:
- No caffeine after 3pm, ok 4-5pm at a push.
- No devices 1 hour before bed time.
- Writing down my hit list for the next day.
Awareness of breath connects body and mind to the present moment, to say it has enhanced my life is an understatement. I use this technique all the time and constantly advocate it to my loved ones. The next time you catch yourself having a ‘moment’ where your tension levels rise, check yourself and take a few moments to just breathe. Inhale peace, exhale love – dispel that negative energy.
5. Strike a energy giving Yoga pose
‘Soham’ is used to represent ‘Inhale’ and ‘Exhale’ and in Sanskrit actually means ‘I am that’. The next time you do Marjaryasana, cat pose, practice saying ‘Soham’ 10 times with your normal breath flow, then do another 10 rounds at a fast pace for an instant Yoga energy pick me up.
Love your karma
Karma in Sanskrit means action, work or deed. It is one of the four ancient paths of Yoga. When we work and live our lives in a selfless fashion, we help other souls and ours too. Karma Yoga is the path of self-transcending action. A path we all walk, albeit unknowingly or mindfully. Take mindful action, smile, send a note of appreciation, be kind to someone you dislike. The results might just amaze you.
Love your environment
Now is the time to get involved with that DIY you’ve been meaning to do. If it’s a beast, consider the fun you could have getting loved ones to lend a helping hand. Even the smallest things, such as changing your table setting to reflect the best of summer, can make a perky difference.
It’s blooming wonderful outside. There are lots of communities organising fabulous events, sporting events and activities, festivals in all shapes and sizes. If smaller crowds are you thing, bring it home. Connect with family and friends by hosting your own mini festival. A BBQ or picnic to celebrate the season is a great opportunity to get creative with your themes.
3. People Power
What a privilege it is to surround yourself with wonderful people. People inspire people, so get connected with others who make you feel good. Think shiny happy people.
4. Eating seasonally
Take a leaf out of Ayurveda philosophy. Eating locally and seasonally helps to sustain and support your local environment. It can be more cost effective on your wallet and tastes far better too. Superfoods including corn, tomatoes, strawberries and peaches are bang in season right now. Enjoy!
5. Outdoor Yoga
Warmer, longer sunny days are perfect for a spot of outdoor Yoga. Suggest to your teacher hosting a class outside, or start a Yoga club with family and friends. Part of the fun is picking a Shanti spot and enjoying what you love in the heart of Mother Nature.
The relationship you have with your-self will last a lifetime, so make it count and acquire, retain and invest your energy wisely. Identify the aspects in your life that carry less value. If you can cut them out or adjust your priorities, you’ll find more energy and less stress, pathing the way for love, light and happiness.