As heat rises and we stay outside longer, playing in nature, swimming in warm waters, collecting vitamin D and sleeping under the sky, we have reached the halfway point of the year and it is definitely summertime. Being joyful, free and relaxed appears to be one of the most natural things during this season.
There is something magic about summer time. It is not a coincidence that during this time of year most people take holidays, travel to the seaside, let go of worries and just enjoy themselves. Not only is vitamin D increased, whilst enjoying the sun but also a great amount of prana or life energy, that it is present at the seaside, fills us with energy and rejuvenation. Hot summer afternoon naps are a must, as they help your body to rest and relax from the heat, which has a more stressful effect on the body than any of you can imagine.
Your body is working harder in summer
During your summer holidays you stay out throughout the days, you sweat more, eat different foods than you are normally used to, sometimes drink alcohol and quickly forget about drinking enough water. Consequently, you are losing more water and salt from your body than normal. If this does not get replaced, your blood circulation slows down, which can consequently affect your heart, lungs and brain. Although you believe all summer activities are relaxing, since you are on holiday, your body works harder to deal with all the changes, to keep you cool and to ensure that all your organs are functioning normally. It is therefore especially important to take precautions and to take good care of your body during your summer holidays in order to return home rejuvenated and relaxed rather than stressed and even more internally dis-balanced than you left.
Useful tips for refreshing and rejuvenating summer:
Cooling Down and Hydration
The best thing for cooling yourself down is to use herbs which grow in abundance at this time such as: mint, lemon balm and lavender. Take the leaves or blossoms only, put them in a jar with cold water and some ice cubes. You can add juice of one pressed lemon and enjoy the cooling effect. Drink lots of water or naturally pressed juices.
Also, during this season, it is best not to cook your food but to eat raw food, using seasonable vegetables. Those with cooling effects are melon (which is advised to be eaten on its own), strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, oranges, peaches, nectarines and apricots as well as cucumber, celery, fennel or any other vegetables that contain a high amount of water. For an immediate cooling effect for either on your sunburn or for your stomach (digestion), use yoghurt.
Movement and Relaxation
As your body is already exposed to lots of heat, it is not recommended to engage in activities that have fast and intense sequences of movement as they may stimulate more heat. Gentle, relaxing yin practice with relaxed poses held for a long time represents a perfect option for the summer. Also, laying on your belly, with legs stretched out, your head resting on our folded forearms, and holding opposite elbows, will help calm your mind in a couple of seconds. This posture is known as Makarasana or crocodile posture.
In ancient times yogis developed various techniques to help completely cool down the body in a couple of minutes. These techniques are very powerful and can be only taught by a competent teacher.
Essential oils with cooling effects include: peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass or vetiver. To enhance your joyful summer atmosphere, you can add a couple of drops of orange, bergamot or citronella.
For a more romantic atmosphere or a relaxing couples massage use: jasmine, vanilla, ylang-ylang or rose, this will indeed make your summer days unforgettable. Please note, the last four oils are quite powerful so please use only a couple of drops.
Lightness and Ease
Summertime is when you undress and let go of the heaviness that you are used to during the rest of the year. Together with your clothes, let it all melt under the hot summer sun or be washed away by the waves of the sea. Eat light, wear light, be light. Have an effortless and warm summer and paint many unforgettable memories, which will keep you warm for the rest of the year. Share love with your friends and strangers and for a moment relax and forget about the rules. It is summer! Dare.
Once again, please keep in mind that the tips here are given for your guidance only. Experiment and allow yourself to be who you truly are.