I was taking one of my long, early morning strolls in the park.
As I was soaking in the shade of a quiet morning sun, I thought about seasons. Seemingly, autumn, spring and winter were really mellow, but the summer season seems to hit the city in one single day, with its quick burning and growing energy yelling, “Go, go, go!” I imagined what kind of gender each season would be. I thought of the spring as a young girl, autumn as young women, winter as a beautiful Russian queen and summer as an island man—a god of summer!
Reflecting on this, I think it is important to balance this energy with some coolness.
With our modern day busy schedules, it gets difficult to find this balance. Especially, it seems more natural to follow the summer’s hot energy and pack more activities into a day. This is where your daily yoga practice would be essential to slow down, exhale and reflect. And by yoga practice, I don’t mean an hour or so of a gymnastics class, but rather a daily practice which includes meditation, reflection and other disciplines. And of course, there is nothing like taking advantage of the season by spending more time in nature.
Here are my top 10 ways to enjoy your summer and stay balanced:
1. Start your day with yoga practice. Consult your teacher to individualize the practice based on your needs, age, time and abilities.
2. Spend more time in nature. Being outside in nature makes us feel more alive. “Nature is fuel for the soul,” says Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. “Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature,” he says. So, for your mental and physical health spend more time in natural settings. Combine it with yoga practice and see how it will affect your mood and over-all well-being.
3. Practice mindful walking by focusing on the environment, trees and walking instead of getting lost in your thoughts.
4. Include more dark leafy greens (arugula, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens) in your diet.
5. Don’t chase the ice cream truck. Cool treats aren’t the way to go to get relief from the heat. According to Ayurvedic principles, it’s not a food’s temperature that makes it cooling, but rather its innate qualities. So the next time you’re feeling hot and uncomfortable, pass up the ice cream and fill your bowl with fruits and vegetables instead. Try this delicious green goddess smoothie to satisfy your sweet tooth.
1 scoop of Hemp Protein Powder
1/3rd cup of mango
1/5 cup of berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or mix them all!)
1/3 of avocado
1/5 glass of coconut milk
Cacao powder (sugar free)
You can be very creative with smoothies.
6. Reduce heavy and hot meals. Rather than filling up on rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread, take advantage of the great recipes and the variety that veggies and salads offer. Not only do they fill you up, but they don’t rely on as much flavoring to make them taste good.
7. Take a break. This could be anything from closing your eyes or shutting your door to a quite surrender, taking slow breaths, or scheduling mental or physical vacation.
9. Fire up your curiosity. Allow your curiosity to guide you, you will always find something new—even in your own backyard.
10. Delve into the mystery of life itself by observing changes in nature.
Editor: Kate Bartolotta