It’s Sunday … The humidity has dropped this evening in SW PA … So nice.
Last week was warm, humid, & peppered with pop-up storms. Thankfully, no watering needed in the garden. Unfortunately, our boy Tortilla spent the week in panic from thunder claps & lighting flashes.
Thursday evening was my first visit to Footprints Farm. What a treat!
My friend Ashley volunteers at the farm regularly, & Thursday we enjoyed “Family Yoga at the Farm” with Jenny Dayton. Kids are welcome … No kids? No worries! Come & practice.
The yoga asana was beginner friendly & Jenny welcomed us with homemade essential oil bug spray … & Ellen, owner of Footprints Farm, welcomed us with idyllic scenery including grazing cows & horses, & a Great Pyrenees named Patch.
Thank you, Ashley, Jenny, Footprints Farm & Patch for a lovely evening!
As summer heats up, I’ve been actively working on my cool-down strategies. Growing up in Oklahoma, I was used to heat & humidity (x1,000), & I have the frizzy orange hair pics to prove it! Yet these days my body doesn’t handle heat as gracefully.
Here are my current strategies & recipes:
* Exercise in the early morning hours.
* Avoid being outdoors for lengthy periods between 11am — 6pm. (& I’m doing better wearing sunscreen — I hate how sunscreen feels & the idea of chemicals, yet our dermatologist recommended Vanicream … I found at Walgreens … I use a little fractionated coconut oil to help it blend better … & it has fewer chemicals, yay!)
* Hydrate. I used to buy electrolyte waters, but they’re too sugary/fake sugary for my taste, so I’ve stuck with filtered water. And now I’m adding peppermint leaves from the garden, & cucumber. Both are cooling to the body. I’ve heard watermelon, basil, strawberry, rosemary are cooling additions too.
* Spritz with homemade cooling mist. Often. Like constantly. In a 4oz glass bottle, I combine a few drops Doterra peppermint & lavender, a tablespoon pure aloe vera gel, & a few tablespoons witch hazel. Fill the remainder with distilled water. Voila! (Even more awesome when stored in the fridge!)
* Eat pitta-pacifying foods. According to the science of Ayurveda, “like increases like,” so since my constitution is fiery & it’s summer to boot, I can re-balance myself by cultivating the opposite qualities. So I eat cooling foods as defined by Ayurveda (not necessarily the modern American idea of ice cream, which can aggravate, or beer, which can be heating to the body!). Here’s my fave resource right now: Eat, Taste, Heal. (You can find online elsewhere, yet purchasing from The Himalayan Institute supports their humanitarian work & where I study 🙂 )
*In addition, & congruent with Ayurvedic teachings, I do my best to organize my lifestyle in summer around routines, foods, attitudes, exercise, interactions & environments … even clothing … that are cooling, nurturing, soft, calming, & noncompetitive. These qualities can balance the fiery, hot, sharp, driven, go-go-go, light-filled nature of summer.
How do you organize your life to stay cool & nurtured during the summer months? Let’s hear feom you in the comments or in class soon!
Note: what works for your constitution may be very different than what works for me. That’s the beauty of Ayurveda, I think. Don’t know your Ayurvedic constitution? You could book an appointment with a trained Ayurvedic Health Counselor at The Himalayan Institute – Pittsburgh. Or start with the Dosha Quiz at Banyan Botanicals or Yoga International, two sources I use for education & inspiration.
Ok, I’m off to July. Hope you’ll join me! E-newsletter coming soon … New asana class sequences after the New Moon on July 2nd! Yay! Cheers, E