| Brennan Woo
Summer’s here! At OWL we believe in following the rhythm of the seasons to guide our self care practices. July brings us long days full of abundant sunshine, bountiful veggies at the farmers markets and scorching summer heat. During this time of the year we like to focus our self care practices on cooling the body and mind. An overheated body and mind can lead to anger, frustration, perfectionism, skin rashes, indigestion and acne. We don’t want any of that! Read on to learn more about our summer self care practices which keep up cool and balanced throughout the summer months.
1. START YOUR DAY OFF WITH MINDFULNESS
Not sure how to start? Pick up a deck of The Universe Has Your Back cards from Gabrielle Bernstein and select a card each morning. Meditate on the message for 5 minutes or grab your journal and write down anything that’s coming up for you around the message. See if you can use the message as guidance as you move throughout your day. With messages such as: “when I focus on my inner light I see the world through the lens of love,” this practice will be beneficial for you and those around you.
2. STICK TO EARLY DINNERS
Longer days doesn’t mean later dinners. Following Ayurvedic principles, try to finish your last meal of the day by 6:00pm. This will give your body ample time to digest before you sleep, warding off weight gain and restless sleep.
3. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
If you’re out exercising in the summer sun chances are you’re loosing a good bit of sweat. When you sweat you lose vital electrolytes and minerals. While water is great, tap and purified water is often stripped of vital minerals essential for hydration. In order to adequately rehydrate after your summer sweat sesh or a day at the beach it’s important to make sure that you not only drink water but also replenish minerals and electrolytes through liquids such as broths and coconut water. Our favorite way to re-hydrate is with our vegan mineral broth. You’ll get a heaping dose of minerals and electrolytes through veggies like celery and fennel, ‘shrooms like cordyceps and iodine rich sea veggies like kombu. After a long day in the sun, sip on a cup of the broth in the evening or use it instead of water while cooking your favorite grain.
4. LOVE UP ON YOUR SKIN
Did you know the sanskrit word for oil is sneha which also means love. At OWL, one of the best ways we’ve found to show our skin love is by ditching harsh chemicals and opting for oils to cleanse, moisturize and protect our skin. Our Sun Potion is a blend of oils and essential oils that provide natural SPF coverage while still rehydrating your skin and boosting it’s natural collagen protection. Use this before and after time the sun to give your skin some sneha!
5. STAY COOL… AS A CUCUMBER
Feeling agitated or angry? Dealing with red skin or rashes? These are all common summer conditions signaling that your body is overheated. One way to help your body stay cool in the summer is through sticking to the abundance of season-al fruits and veggies and avoiding fried, processed and spicy foods. Cucumbers are a great example of summer veggies to favor. This powerhouse vegetable is 95% water and packed with potassium, an electrolyte essential for maintaining hydration. There’s more, skin rashes and redness are often signs of irritation in the gastro-intestinal tract. This amazing little veggie is also known to help cool and soothe your digestive system, which in the long term will enhance your skin’s glow!
You’ve likely heard of sunbathing, but moon bathing is its’ cooling counter-part. It’s as easy as a day at the beach - you just need to wait for the sun to go down. Once the moon is out, lay out a blanket and situated yourself somewhere outside where the moons rays can hit your whole body. We recommend turning off all distractions (yes, even the latest murder mystery podcast), laying down, closing your eyes and soaking in the rays for about 20 minutes. The moonlight will release melatonin to help you relax, pro-mote deeper sleep and cool an agitated mind. This ancient Ayurvedic practice is also believed to cool inflammation in the body, hives and skin rashes, all common during the hot summer months. As a bonus, moon bathing is also believed to regulates women’s hormones and menstrual cycle. This is best done during the full moon but don’t let that dissuade you from getting moon time in all month long.
Simple enough right? Certain breathing exercises help cool your body and mind, which if you’ve read this far you probably know are important for the summer months. Sitali breath has a cooling effect on the body and nervous system. To practice this breath: stick your tongue out, curl it up like a straw, sip in air through the tongue, close the mouth and exhale completely through your nose. This breath is great to do as part of an evening routine, at the end of a workout or anytime your feeling over heated and agitated (bonus points: try it while moonbathing!).
The OWL Fam